Today the Turnbull Government introduced the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 into Parliament to give effect to over $6 billion in Budget savings necessary to assist in the critical tasks of arresting our debt and restoring the Budget to balance, in order to protect our economy against significant economic shocks.
Australia’s gross debt currently sits at $430 billion and is increasing, on average, by $6 billion every month.
As a Government we inherited $240 billion in accumulated deficits and a gross debt of $317 billion, projected to increase to $667 billion within the next ten years.
A worsening in our fiscal position, as resulted from the failure of the last Parliament to progress work on Budget repair, will leave our economy and living standards vulnerable and leave Australian taxpayers saddled with higher interest payments, currently worth $16 billion, one of the largest line items in the Federal Budget.
The Turnbull Government is focused on preventing these scenarios and arresting our debt by making necessary decisions to restore our Budget to balance.
The Omnibus Bill is an opportunity for the new Parliament to heed this challenge, promoting our nation on the path to a stronger economy, one that can properly fend off global challenges and boost living standards and employment opportunities.
The 24 measures contained in this Bill were announced in our last term and will give effect to savings of more than $6 billion over the Budget and forward estimates, savings that were written by Labor into their election costings.
In putting this Bill to the Parliament the Government is not asking Labor to support measures they opposed at the election. The Government is asking the Labor party to support measures they included in their costings, and that they took to the Australian people, at the election.
Ratings agencies have warned that budget repair measures will need to be passed otherwise Australia is at an increased risk of a rating downgrade. Given the track record of budget sabotage by Labor the ratings agencies have expressed concern on whether the Parliament is up to this task.
Labor eventually back flipped on previous savings measures put forward by the Government but the financial impact of Labor’s political expediency was an $11 billion hit to the Budget.
This Bill is the first test of the Parliament’s resolve on acting to support out triple-A rating and getting expenditure under control.
This Bill emphasises our commitment to reducing the fiscal burden on future generations. As we make crucial repairs to fix the budget we will create headroom to further ease the tax burden on hardworking Australians and to invest in new priorities.
The Turnbull Government is leading on taking action to strengthen our economy and we are committed to securing the passage of these measures.
Budget repair must always start with controlling expenditure and keeping it at sustainable levels. That is what this Bill does.