Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Thank you, Mr President. That's indeed what it does. I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that 5 December 2017 marked the 45th anniversary of the swearing-in of the first Whitlam Labor Government;
(b) also notes that spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product:
(i) soon after Mr Whitlam's swearing-in, rocketed from 18.9% that financial year to 24.3% the year Mr Whitlam left office in 1975,
(ii) had been reduced to lower than that level when the Howard Government left office in 2007, and
(iii) now sits at higher levels than when Mr Whitlam left office, at a budgeted 25.2%, and projected to remain at a similar level into forward estimates; and
(c) expresses its in-principle support for legislative measures that will help chart a pathway to budget surplus achieved by reducing spending and waste, not by increasing taxes.
When the coalition government was elected, spending as a share of the economy was rising to 26.5 per cent of GDP. In 2017-18, it is estimated to be 25.2 per cent and will fall to 25 per cent over the forward estimates. Average real growth in spending under this coalition government is lower than the average of each of the previous five governments, extending back almost 50 years. The coalition government has achieved this and is on track to achieve budget balance, in spite of Labor's resistance to sensible budget repair measures.
Question agreed to.