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Coalition's economic record: histroy rewritten.

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

“To suggest that the Coalition’s fiscal policy in its last two years ‘went off the rails’ is an absurd proposition” said Peter Dutton, Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation, earlier today.

“Today’s article in the Australian Financial Review titled ‘Revealed: how Costello fanned flames of inflation’ fails to outline the exceptional economy that was Peter Costello’s legacy from his 11 years in Government.

“Consider the facts:

“Inflation under the Coalition Government averaged 2.5 per cent per year, right in the middle of the RBA’s target band. The inflation forecasts from Treasury and the Department of Finance, published in the Pre-Election Fiscal Outlook, were within the target band over the forward estimates.

“The average real growth in spending under the Coalition was 2 per cent (excluding the GST year), while it was 3.8 per cent under Mr Hawke. The 200809 Budget papers estimate that it will be 2.8 per cent under Mr Rudd, which will rise dramatically when the slush funds are spent.

“In fact, the Coalition actually tightened fiscal policy - in other words reduced spending relative to the size of the economy - four times since 2001-02.

“The Coalition paid off over $96 billion in Labor debt, saved $60 billion in the Future Fund, and placed $5 billion in the Higher Education Endowment Fund.

“The Coalition also provided Australians with over $200 billion of tax relief, and undertook substantial superannuation reforms to boost household saving. When the Coalition left office, superannuation assets had risen to well over $1 trillion.

“The article also makes an outrageous comparison between the Whitlam Government and the Howard Government. This is ridiculous given that Mr Whitlam increased spending by around 14 per cent in two of his years in power.

“In a Statement by the International Monetary Fund on 12 September 2007, the IMF said:

“Executive Directors commended the Australian authorities for their exemplary macroeconomic management, which is widely recognized as being at the forefront of international best practice”


“Directors praised Australia's very strong fiscal position, with fiscal policy firmly focused on medium- and long-term objectives.”

“The Coalition, and Peter Costello, has an economic record that it has every right to be proud of. This country has the excellent economy it has in today due to his sound fiscal management.”