We went to the election with a clear economic plan, to support continued strong economic growth and we’ve delivered that. Strong economic growth.
A key element of our plan is restoring the budget to balance.
We have a huge challenge to ensure that we do not load a mountain to ensure that we do not load a mountain of debt onto the shoulders of our children and grandchildren.
We have to live within our means.
It’s a hard task this one of budget repair, it is a key priority of our Government, a key responsibility of every member of this Parliament.
Now we said we will work across the aisle. We will make and seek to ensure that the Parliament works and that we get results.
Now we introduced an Omnibus Savings Bill that set out $6 billion of savings measures that had been opposed by the Labor Party prior to the election but during the course of the election had been adopted and incorporated into their own alternative budget. There have now been very frank, constructive negotiations conducted by the Treasurer and the Finance Minister. I thank them for that. They've done that with their counterparts and have secured agreement to $6.3 billion of savings over the forward estimates. There is more work to be done – a lot more work to be done, but this demonstrates that we are delivering on our economic plan. We are delivering on our commitment to bring the budget back into balance and that with goodwill and good faith, working across the aisle we can deliver results in this Parliament, which the Australian people elected. They elected it to do a job and this task of budget repair is one of the key tasks that every Member of the Parliament confronts.
So I will ask the Treasurer and then the Finance Minister to go through the details of these negotiations and their outcome.
Thank you, Prime Minister and can I also thank the Finance Minister for the work he's done in bringing this measure to agreement and where we're able to announce today - the agreement to the Government's Omnibus Bill, some $6.3 billion. What's been agreed today, shows that the Turnbull Government is getting on with the business of securing savings in the 45th Parliament.
Obviously, that has its challenges and what this demonstrates is that those savings can be achieved.
Now, this is in response to the Government's initiative to put the measures that Labor said they supported before the last election and were included in their costings into one bill and it focused attention on the need to arrest the debt by moving forward with these measures.
Now in the course of any discussion, there is give-and-take, as there has to be and there will be in the future no doubt, because that will be the nature of business in the 45th Parliament. But it is important to note that 20 of the 24 measures that were contained in the Omnibus Bill that I introduced into the Parliament last time we were here have been supported unamended in what we've agreed to today.
Now, these were measures that had been opposed in some cases for some three years. There were measures in here, including changes to Family Tax Benefit that before the last election it was said they would never ever support and today we've been able to get to the position where they are supported. I think for the reason for that is that there is a clear understanding in the Australian community that they expect this Parliament to arrest the debt that they expect this Government to put forward measures on savings to ensure that we can get the budget back under control.
It is a job that is not completed with this today it is a job that is started. The Government's focus is on getting expenditure under control.
The Omnibus Bill is about expenditure savings. This is not a bill for higher taxes. We believe the way to control and get the budget under control is by pursuing savings in the budget. Higher taxes for higher spending doesn't arrest the debt, it actually arrests growth and that's why we are focused on the Omnibus Bill with savings and I will ask Mathias to go through some of the details.
Thank you, Prime Minister. Thank you, Treasurer. A key priority for the Government this week was securing the successful passage of about $6 billion in savings through the Parliament. As a result of the agreement we have been able to reach with the Opposition we will be able to secure the successful passage of more than $6 billion worth of savings. This is an important next step in progressing and in achieving budget repair. It is only another step, there will be further steps required. We hope that this is the beginning of further constructive engagement by the Opposition with the Government in getting the Budget back into balance as soon as possible. The genesis of all of this is that the Budget Omnibus Savings Bill provided about 24 measures, which both Labor and the Coalition took to the election, banked in our respective Budget bottom lines and we have pragmatically been able to reach an agreement which is there for all of you to see.