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Government blows its chance to meet challenges of ageing.

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Wayne Swan MP Federal Labor Shadow Treasurer


Thursday 25 Nov 20 04

The Coalition’s reckless $66 billion pre-election spending spree has severely limited the ability of the Government to respond to the challenges of an ageing population.

The Productivity Commission report released today highlights the need to plan for the future - something completely ignored by the Government as it spent its way back into office at the election.

Don’t look at what Peter Costello says - look at what he does.

The Coalition’s $66 Billion spending spree was about a short-term political outcome that may well come at a long-term cost.

The spending spree recently drew criticism from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who suggested it could put upward pressure on interest rates.

Access Economics in its recent Federal Budget Monitor made a withering assessment of the spending, saying:

“If the official view is that Canberra should be spending on raising productivity and lifting participation, then the $66 billion spent across a five year period starting with the Budget in May does not stack up terribly well against those yardsticks.”

The Treasurer today again talked about the importance of increasing participation to bolster the number of workers to support an ageing population - yet the Government has only made matters worse.

Research by the Melbourne Institute has shown the Government’s family payment measures will result in more than 20,000 individuals withdrawing from the workforce.

Further changes announced in the election will only heighten disincentives for women, in particular, to participate in paid work.

This is the highest taxing Government in our history and its failure to properly address the disincentives plaguing our tax and social security systems are a significant barrier to lifting participation and productivity.

It highlights again the failure of this nine year old Government to engage in the reform required to underpin prosperity into the future.


Contact :Matt Linden 0407430 613