Unlike Labor, the Liberal National coalition has achievable plans for a stronger economy, for strongercommunities, for a cleaner environment, for stronger borders, and for future infrastructure. In each of theseareas our plans will deliver change for the better.The Coalition understands that Australia has to live within its means, in much the same way that familiesand businesses do. We also know that countries have to get better at what they do, as businesses do. Finally,we appreciate that all the stakeholders in Australia Inc eventually need to see a dividend as the reward fortheir hard work.A Plan for a Stronger EconomyAt the heart of our plan for a stronger economy is getting government spending down and productivity up sothat borrowing reduces, the pressure on interest rates comes off, and taxes can responsibly come down.The first act of an incoming coalition government will be to prepare the carbon tax repeal legislation to takethe pressure off the power prices and transport prices that feed through to every price in our economy.Australians can have tax cuts without a carbon tax but only if we get government spending down byeliminating wasteful and unnecessary programmes and permanently reducing the size of government.No good government would ever spend more than a billion dollars putting pink batts into roofs and a billion
dollars to take them out again. It wouldn’t spend $16 billion on over
-priced school halls while the standardsof academic achievement actually fell.
A good government wouldn’t spend $2 billion buying Victorian brown coal power stations only to close
them down; or $11 billion buying Telstra’s copper wires only to shut them down too; or $50 billion plus ona National Broadband Network that people don’t need and don’t want to pay more for.
The last coalition government turned an inherited $10 billion budget black hole into consistent surplusesaveraging nearly one per cent of GDP. At the last election, the coalition identified $50 billion in responsiblesavings
starting with a reduction of 12,000 in the size of the Commonwealth government payroll.
Finding savings is a big task but we’re up for it and will release all our costings in good time for the next
election.The starting point will be programmes that have become bywords for waste. Discontinuing the computers inschools programme, which parents are now having to pay for anyway, could save over half a billion dollars.Not proceeding with the extra bureaucracies associated with hospital changes that no one will notice couldsave over half a billion dollars. Not proceeding with the so-called GP super clinics which are delivering newbuildings not more doctors could save about $200 million.
Big savings could be made in the government’s $350 a throw set top box programme since Gerry H
arveycan supply and install them for half the price. Vastly reducing the number of consultancies (which have costover $2 billion over the past four years) would produce significant savings.Not proceeding with the carbon tax would deliver $31 billion in savings over the forward estimates periodwith a net improvement of $4 billion in the budget bottom line. Not proceeding with the mining tax woulddeliver $14 billion in savings over the forward estimates period with a net improvement of $6 billion in thebudget bottom line.
After a quarter century of reform that made Australia one of the world’s miracle economies, the tragedy of the past four years is the damage that’s been done to our fiscal position with almost nothing lasting to show