Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Where Abbott would "cut"

The Coalition is committed to doing everything necessary to rebuild communities hit by floods and Cyclone Yasi this summer, without Labor’s new tax.

Today I am outlining further cuts and deferrals in government expenditure that demonstrate another new Labor tax is unnecessary.

Last year the Coalition set out $50 billion worth of savings and cuts to the Rudd-Gillard Government’s reckless and wasteful spending. That plan would return the budget to surplus and start to pay down Labor’s debt through spending restraint and eliminating government waste, such as cutting government advertising, reducing consultancy expenses, putting a freeze on public service recruitment and cancelling the NBN.

Today I can outline more than $2 billion in further savings measures that the Gillard Government should adopt instead of its flood tax.

The Coalition calls on the government to take up the following savings and deferral of spending and divert the money to the reconstruction and recovery effort:

. Partially deferring water buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin

. Delaying funding under the so-called Building the Education Revolution (BER) programme

. Redirecting the remaining funds from the Building Better Regional Cities programme

. Reducing spending on the Automotive Transformation Scheme (ATS)

. Further cuts in funding to the GP Super Clinics programme

. Deferring funding from the Australia Indonesia Education Partnership

. Discontinuing funding to the National Solar Schools programme

. Discontinuing the Reward Payment for School Improvements programme

. Discontinuing the Online Diagnostic Tools for Parents and Teachers programme

. Discontinuing the Helping Our Kids Understand Finance programme

Julia Gillard must also reverse her decision to cut funding for flood mitigation works on the Bruce Highway and the Herbert River floodplain. Funding flood recovery through cuts to flood mitigation works makes no sense whatsoever.

By identifying more than $2 billion in savings measures, the following Queensland projects can be restored:

. Duplication of the Bruce Highway from Vantassel Street to Flinders Highway

. Project arising from the Herbert River floodplain study

. Realignment of the Bruce Highway from Sandy Corner to Collinsons Lagoon, providing flood proof access.

. The Coalition is prepared to demonstrate the tough decisions that it would take in government.

The Coalition is determined to end government waste and stop Labor’s new taxes. The Gillard Government’s first and only instinct is to create another tax.

The people of Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia have suffered enough without yet another tax, which will be paid by some victims and impede recovery.

We believe that reconstruction can be paid for out of the Federal Government’s pocket, not the pockets of the Australian people.

8 February 2011

11-02-08 Savings and Deferral Measures

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