5 August 2016
Media Release - #2016065, 2016

PBO election costings report confirms Labor’s higher debt and deficit

Joint media release with
Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) today confirmed that Labor's addiction to spending would increase the deficit by more than $16 billion over the Budget and forward estimates.

Labor's spend now and tax later approach, confirmed by the PBO, demonstrates that Labor has learnt nothing from their past budget failures, and would simply lock in higher spending and higher budget deficits, if given the chance.

By contrast, the key fiscal objective of the Government's economic plan is to reduce the deficit and to secure the passage of measures in the Parliament that achieve this result.

Recent comments by Standard & Poor's put the Parliament and the Government on notice regarding the importance of supporting Budget repair. The risk of a rating downgrade remains live and cannot be dismissed if budget savings are not passed or if there are new negative impacts on the budget that hit our revenues. As a result the Government is focussed on taking the action needed to keep our budget repair plan on track.

The confirmation that Labor's approach to the budget is simply to increase the deficit by giving up on spending restraint signals their preparedness to surrender our credit rating without even attempting to retain it.

The PBO also confirms that more than $6 billion in savings measures identified by the Government have been included in Labor's pre-election costings.

This means Labor have banked these savings in the budget promises they made at the last election. As a result Labor must now support these savings in the Parliament, with no excuses and no delays.

Labor must support these savings measures, at the very least, as they included them in their own figures. To do otherwise would be a clear broken promise.