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Costello's budget out of control.



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Media Release

BOB McMULLAN MP SENATOR STEPHEN CONROY SHADOW TREASURER DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR FRASER SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE

30 September 2002

COSTELLO’S BUDGET OUT OF CONTROL

Today’s Final Budget Outcome figures for 2001-02 are a devastating indictment of Peter Costello’s economic mismanagement.

Three years ago the Government forecast a surplus in the underlying cash balance of $7.2 billion and a fiscal surplus of $5.2 billion.

At the time of the election, Mr Costello guaranteed a $500 million surplus. When releasing MYEFO on 17 October 2001, Mr Costello said:

We are giving a guarantee that we will keep the Budget in surplus, yes we are.

Now, despite years of strong economic growth (including 3.8 per cent growth for fiscal year 2001-02), the Government has achieved a cash deficit in 2001-02 of $1.3 billion. Further, the fiscal deficit, which Mr Costello used to say was the best measure of the Budget, is even worse at $3.7 billion.

Peter Costello and John Howard have lost control of the Budget, and they want to slug Australians with extra taxes to make up for their mismanagement.

Australian are already paying an Ansett ticket levy and a milk levy. Two weeks ago John Howard announced he would impose a sugar levy. In recent days a succession of Ministers have refused to rule out an Iraq war levy. And the Government is also considering imposing a tourism levy.

Today’s figures reveal why the Howard Government - already the highest taxing government in Australia’s history - is so desperate to hit struggling families with even more taxes. John Howard and Peter Costello have blown the Budget and their reputation for budget management is in tatters.

Today’s figures are a devastating repudiation of Mr Costello’s management. It is no wonder that the Government has released this news while he is out of the country.

Further information: Robert Garran, Mr McMullan’s office: 02 6277 4803, 0419 692 504 Diane Brown, Senator Conroy’s office: 03 9650 1188, 0407 434 523