What is the Best Way to Reduce Government Waste?

13 March 2012

Sydney Morning Herald

The key to good government is strong budget management.
That requires a plan that delivers spending restraint and clearly sets out how policies are funded.
Thats what the Gillard Government has put in place and thats what we are delivering.
In contrast, the Opposition cant get its story straight on what its economic agenda is.
Where the Gillard Government is determined to return the budget to surplus in 2012-13, the Opposition changes its tune daily.
Where the Gillard Government has fully funded its policies, the Opposition continues to recklessly promise things they cant deliver.
Where the Gillard Government has delivered $100 billion in savings across four budgets, the Opposition has a $70 billion budget black hole they cant or refuse to explain.
And where the Gillard Government has delivered government efficiency reforms of over $10 billion, the Opposition says flippantly well cut public servants.
The Gillard Government has a strong track record of identifying efficiency reforms.
By improving IT procurement we have saved $1 billion; by reducing public sector travel we have cut $160 million from outlays; and we have slashed government advertising from over $250 million spent at the end of the Howard Government era.
Last week, Tony Abbott announced that, if elected, he will delegate the role of savings to a post-election committee, keeping Australians in the dark about what $70 billion in budget cuts the Opposition will make.
This is a loud vote of no confidence in Joe Hockey and Andrew Robbs capacity as shadow economic Ministers, and highlights that the Coalitions election costings debacle was not a one-off.
Responsible government spending is about striking the right balance between strong fiscal discipline and continuing to support job creation and growth.
And thats what the Gillard Government will continue doing.