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Transcript of joint press release: 11 October 2010: Wong's costings attack a smoke screen for Labor inaction



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Joe Hockey, MP Shadow Treasurer Member for North Sydney

JOINT PRESS RELEASE - WONG’S COSTINGS ATTACK A SMOKE SCREEN FOR LABOR INACTION

11TH OCTOBER 2010

JOINT PRESS RELEASE - The Hon Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer and The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Shadow Minister for Finance and Debt Reduction

The Coalition rejects in the strongest possible terms inferences in the Fairfax media today that we deliberately misrepresented the rigorous process surrounding the verification of our election policy costings.

This is a semantic argument about the definition and use of the word audit; a media beat up.

The fact is all our policy costings, including the assumptions behind them, were thoroughly examined by one of Australasia's leading accountancy firms, which confirmed "costed commitments and savings have been accurately prepared in all material aspects".

The Coalition's costings were subjected to an unprecedented level of scrutiny for any opposition.

Notwithstanding the politicisation of the election costings process, we absolutely stand by the veracity of our costings as well as our strategy to dramatically reduce Labor’s debt.

It says it all that the first noises we have heard from Penny Wong as Finance Minister is her attempts to score cheap and belated political points, like the Prime Minister has with Afghanistan.

Ms Wong must focus on the big economic issues facing the Gillard Government:

- What reckless spending is being curtailed to take pressure off interest rates and our record exchange rate level and to improve the competitiveness of tens-of-thousands of our trade exposed companies?

- Where are the $2.4 billion in savings coming from to pay for Labor's new post-election spending commitments?

- When will she come clean about the real level of revenue the mining tax will raise?

- Why did Labor so recklessly commit to a $43 billion NBN without a cost-benefit analysis or business plan?