House debates

Tuesday, 23 May 2023


Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2022-2023, Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2022-2023, Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 2) 2022-2023; Second Reading

12:10 pm

Photo of Paul FletcherPaul Fletcher (Bradfield, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Government Services and the Digital Economy) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to speak on the additional appropriation bills for 2022-23. These bills—Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2022-2023, Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2022-23 and Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 2) 2022-23—provide for additional funds from consolidated revenue for the remainder of the 2022-23 year. Collectively, the additional appropriations bills 2022-23 appropriate approximately $6.2 billion from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The majority—approximately $5.5 billion—of this is to ensure that there is funding to cover upward revisions in demand-driven programs or other departmental funding.

The opposition will be supporting the additional appropriation bills. However, this support should not be misconstrued as support for many of the ineffective or misguided policies of Labor's 2022-23 October budget. Labor's big-spending October budget was the canary in the coalmine for the big spending that would come in the form of Labor's May budget. In two budgets, in only a year in office, this Labor government has undertaken $185 billion of additional spending, while, at the same time, managing to cut infrastructure.

How are they trying to pay for this new spending? Well, with two new taxes on regional Australia that will add to inflationary pressures and increase the prices of groceries: a new food and fibre tax on farmers in the form of a 10 per cent increase in agricultural levies; and a tax on truckies, with a 5.2c per litre increase in the heavy vehicle road user charge.

This is just a snapshot of the failures of this Labor government on managing the economy and managing the budget. I could go on for hours, but, with some reluctance, I will restrain myself from doing so.

The opposition will be supporting these additional appropriation bills, but we will also continue to hold the government to account over the budget decisions it has made.

Debate adjourned.