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Labor must accept the need to rein in spending

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Andrew Robb, MP 

Shadow Minister for Finance, Deregulation and Debt Reduction  Member for Goldstein 

Labor must accept the need to rein in spending 25/10/10

After slamming Coalition calls for the need for a pre-Christmas mini-budget to rein in reckless spending because of Australia’s high interest rates, high exchange rate and the threat of a double dip recession, it has been revealed today that the upcoming MYEFO (Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook) is starting to morph into one.

Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction Andrew Robb said that after hysterically dismissing his calls for a mini-budget just two weeks ago, it appears Treasurer Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Penny Wong are coming around.

“Two weeks ago Mr Swan and Senator Wong scoffed at the need for a mini-budget, which would require significant spending and borrowing cuts, as opposed to a standard MYEFO, which is a mere update of economic numbers under existing policy settings.

“Now we learn today that the midyear review will contain savings in order to pay for Labor’s $2.4 billion in new post-election spending commitments and because of increasing fears about the prospect of a double-dip global recession,” Mr Robb said.

“It’s time Mr Swan and Senator Wong swallowed their pride, admit the Coalition and others were right and commit to a substantial fiscal recalibration to rein in the continued reckless spending and borrowing and to pay off their $90 billion debt.

“Labor needs to restore the economic resilience it inherited as quickly as possible, to ease some of the pressure off interest rates and inflation and to get the budget back to health. This is essential so that we are well equipped to deal with any future black clouds that we may encounter,” Mr Robb said.

“This will require the type of discipline this Labor government has thus far failed to demonstrate, including substantive spending cuts. We see that Penny Wong has left the door open to public service job cuts, despite her predecessor Lindsay Tanner ruling them out.

“It is pleasing to see that Labor’s ill-conceived, $400 million ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme is inline for the chop and Senator Wong should confirm that the government got it badly wrong and the program will not proceed.

“The Government could also, for example, find $300 million is savings by scrapping its commitment to the Global Carbon and Storage Institute, which Australia is propping up. There are many areas where sensible savings can be found if Labor has

the courage,” Mr Robb said.