Spending commitments made by the Howard government since last May are on the hit list. The Rudd Government has been ordered to find savings of several billions of dollars before the next May budget.
Bureaucrats have been ordered to sift through 225 individual spending commitments with the intention of overturning many of the pledges made last year. The Australian reports today that the Howard government embarked on a slew of projects, many of which were modest in cost but when combined added a total of $15 billion to budget costs over the next 10 years.
The Australian has included in its list of projects that could be axed the “Innovation Ambassador” program, under which the former government proposed to pay ambassadors to spread the word about entrepreneurship. Other commitments that may be included on the hit list are a program to fund the design of an Australian semi-conductor chip and $12.5 million to support nuclear power research.
The Department of Finance has sent a request to all public servants requesting them to identify opportunities for budget reversal.