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Budget 2008: Squandering away the Government's savings.

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Wed, 14th May 2008


The Hon Peter Dutton MP Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation

Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation, Peter Dutton, has today criticised the Rudd Government for proposing to squander away the Government's savings.

''This is a return to the old-fashioned spendthrift Labor of old.''

''Labor have been quick to criticise the Coalition in recent years for spending its way through the resources boom, yet Wayne Swan proposes to squander away the surpluses on recurrent spending.

''Mr Swan has clearly indicated that he will not only spend the interest from his various sovereign wealth funds that he proposes to establish, he will also spend the initial investments. How can we be sure that Australia's long-term financial security is safe under this Government?

''If the surplus is spent, even in a few years time, then Labor will lose what little economic credibility they have.

''The Budget papers indicate that the States will have some control of the expenditure of these funds. I would not trust any of the current State Governments to manage this amount of money given their track record.

''Even after the Coalition created a Future Fund of over $60 billion to ensure that a large future liability for the Government could be met, Labor criticised the Coalition as being irresponsible.

''However, Labor are now creating slush funds for their own spending purposes. How is that responsible? There is no detail in the Budget about how this money will be spent. Australians should be asking whether the financial future of this country is safe.

''On top of this, the Budget forecasts an increase in spending in real terms of 5.5% in 2009