The Coalition is baring its fiscal claws ahead of tomorrow’s budget, releasing a booklet today detailing government “waste” equating to $10 billion.
The booklet titled The Little Book of Big Labor Waste details 60 examples of alleged waste and mismanagement from the Rudd and Gillard governments.
The booklet states Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan have “junked their commitment to a surplus” but kept their “commitment to out of control spending”, as it details budget blowouts in areas such as immigration, the carbon tax and union training.
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The booklet cites research, new articles and Senate inquiry disclosures from the recent Rudd-Gillard governing years.
The 2012 Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook papers revealed the immigration budget has blown out by over $1 billion, as the Coalition claim this was a result of Labor’s “failed border protection policies” and “stubborn refusal to re-introduce the full suite of prove Howard government policies”.
In the 2011-2012 federal budget, the booklet states Labor donated $10 million of taxpayer money to trade unions to train upcoming union leaders. This amount was also given by Kevin Rudd in the previous year and effectively has led to the unions being compensated for their $20 million donation to Labor in the 2007 election.
Labor has also reportedly spent $69.5 million on advertising the carbon tax, including spending $100,000 on building three fully-furnished fake kitchens to use in the advertisements.
As reported in the booklet, The Daily Telegraph revealed in September 2011 that Kevin Rudd spent over $1 million on travel expenses in his first month as foreign minister.
Other areas of waste mentioned include the NBN, market research and staff payouts following leadership challenges.
In the booklet’s foreword, the opposition’s spokesman for the scrutiny of government waste, Jamie Briggs, said Australia is paying $20 million a day in interest on a net debt of $147.3 billion, after the government failed to return Australia to surplus.
“Under the leadership of Julia Gillard, the list of waste management is increasing at an alarming rate. From the multiple billion dollar blowouts in the immigration portfolio to … coffee machines for bureaucrats, the litany of waste is staggering,” he says.
SmartCompany contacted Briggs and the Prime Minister’s office, but no comment was available prior to publication.
Briggs told The Australian the booklet is designed to demonstrate wasteful spending by the Labor government in concrete terms.
“The document sums up more than $10 billion of wastes tax payer money. There’s plenty that’s not in there that we’ve tracked as well.
“We believe taxpayer’s money should be treated with respect rather than wasted. Labor’s claims to be responding to a revenue write-down is not backed by the facts,” he says.
The booklet is being released today by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Briggs, as Parliament is due to resume tomorrow and Abbott will deliver his budget reply speech on Thursday night.
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said in a speech in February the Labor government had made savings which would deliver a “cumulative improvement to the budget”.
“The structural savings we’ve already made will deliver a cumulative improvement to the budget of over a quarter of a trillion dollars by 2020-21,” he said.
Since then, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a $12 billion budget shortfall.