Media Release

MYEFO 2012-13


The Government has used today’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook as yet another chance to tax Australians to pay for their reckless spending.

The Government thinks they got away with the carbon tax – and are now using this as another opportunity to make Australian families and businesses pay more. The changes announced today will mean Australians will pay more for private health insurance, pay more for having more than one baby, pay more for asylum seeker management, and pay more for management of self-managed superannuation funds – all to fund Labor’s reckless spending sprees.

Labor’s poor Budget management makes life harder and not easier for Australian families, who are already suffering under cost of living pressures.

The Government continues their Budget trickery with regards to their $120 billion great big Budget black hole of unfunded promises. The Government has made a promise to deliver an NDIS, but has provided no further funding for its implementation. The Government has also made a promise to implement the Gonski education reforms, but has not provided a single dollar towards their implementation – instead Labor has cut education and health spending since the May Budget.

This is a confused document, from a confused and dishonest Government.

Once again, Labor tries to con Australians with yet more money shuffles. By introducing monthly PAYG tax for companies, Labor expects to raise an extra $5.5 billion in 2013-14. Without these changes, Labor’s promised Budget surplus in 2013-14, an election year, would not be a surplus, but a deficit of over $3 billion. Furthermore, the changes will make it more difficult for companies to deliver dividends, will create red tape and will affect cash flow at a time when the job market is weak.

This money shuffle is on top of at least $10 billion of money shuffles for the current financial year, when the Government is also keeping almost $6 billion of NBN spending ‘off budget’. Without these accounting tricks, Labor’s almost invisible $1 billion surplus for this year would be a deficit of $15 billion or more.

Labor’s money shuffles extend to the Government grant programs, where changes in the timing of grant payments is expected to bolster the Budget bottom line by $324 million this financial year.

The Government’s asylum seeker mess has once again blown out by another $1.1 billion in this year alone. However, this is not the full story - Labor appears to be hiding the real cost of its increase in the humanitarian intake to 20,000 persons a year. Only in August the Minister for Immigration said the cost could be as high as $1.3 billion over the forward estimates, and Labor’s own expert panel were advised this measure would cost $1.4 billion. However, only $432 million has been provided over the forward estimates in the Budget.  Australians deserve to know where the extra $1 billion of unbudgeted expenditure will come from. 

The changes to the Baby Bonus will mean having more than one baby in Australia will become more expensive, at a time when Australian families need all the assistance they can get with the rising cost of living.

The indexation of Private Health Insurance continues Labor’s attack on Australian families and will raise over $1 billion over the forward estimates. The changes can only result in higher premiums for Australian families.

Labor also continues to raid superannuation to bolster their Budget bottom line.  Over half of the Government’s promised surplus in 2012-13 will be achieved through ripping even more money out of the superannuation system – a system already undermined by Labor’s consistent tax grabs since coming to power.

Wayne Swan confirmed today that more pain is in order, with further tax rises to come. He said:

I'm also saying there will be other structural saves we will have to take as well.”
(Source: Wayne Swan, Media Conference, 22 October 2012)

Wayne Swan has to tell Australians which part of their lives he will choose to tax next. 

The Treasurer has once again confirmed his inability to provide accurate forecasts, cutting the size of the surplus by a third in just four months.

This is a Government still spending over $90 billion a year more than in the last year of the Howard Government – and the Government is still borrowing to fund its reckless spending. At the same time, the erosion of Labor’s promised surplus over the forward estimates will make it even more difficult to begin to repay Labor’s record debt.

Under Labor, the only certainty is more taxes, more debt and more pain for all Australian families and businesses.