Releasing the last of its policies of the election campaign, the Coalition has this afternoon published its final costings.
The costings show a further tranche of savings totalling $9 billion. Reductions in projected growth in the foreign aid budget of $4.5 billion comprise half of the savings released today. Other new savings announced included a re-phasing of the Murray Darling Water Buyback Scheme to spread four years worth of spending over six years, and a further 0.25% efficiency dividend on the public service.
This money will be allocated to other Coalition policy priorities, particularly transport infrastructure. Key projects earmarked for Commonwealth contributions include Melbourne’s East West link, Sydney’s WestConnex and the Brisbane Gateway Motorway upgrade.
The Coalition has reaffirmed its claim that its policies are all fiscally responsible and fully paid for. It says its policies have been assessed by the Parliamentary Budget Office and reviewed by an independent panel comprising three eminent Australian experts in public finance and administration:
- Mr Geoff Carmody, co-founder of Access Economics and current Director of Geoff Carmody & Associates;
- Mr Len Scanlan, former Queensland Auditor-General; and
- Professor Peter Shergold AC, former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, and the Shadow Minister for Finance, Andrew Robb, stated that the measures, along with others already announced, would improve the budget bottom line by $6 billion and reduce government debt by $16 million.
The Coalition’s costings table can be read here.
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