- From: The Australian
- August 12, 2011
OPPOSITION treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has admitted the Coalition's multi-billion dollar savings target is a "significant number", but says he won't apologise for proposing deep savings cuts.Mr Hockey refused to confirm leaked documents suggesting the Coalition would need to find $70 billion to axe the carbon and mining taxes and deliver personal income tax cuts.
But he said the necessary savings were a small proportion of the overall budget, and could be found by eliminating waste.
“The total amount that you have to find, from our perspective, it's a significant number,” he told Seven's Sunrise program.
“But ... we are going through the budget line by line, item by item.
“The government - Liberal or Labor - will spend $1500 billion over the next four years.
“(That's) a massive amount of money and therefore finding $50 or $60 or $70 billion is about identifying waste, identifying areas where you do not need to proceed with programs. We make no apologies for it.”
Mr Hockey guaranteed that under the Liberal Party, government would be smaller.
“There will be less tax, there will be less government expenditure, but you will have smaller government as a percentage of the economy.”
Julia Gillard told a community forum in Perth last night that the government was committed to introducing its carbon tax despite global economic turmoil.
“What the Treasury is telling us is, we can put a price on carbon and the economy will continue to grow,” the Prime Minister said.
“If we can cut carbon pollution by 160 million tonnes and still have more jobs, still have economic growth ... why wouldn't you do it?”
But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott today reiterated his call for the carbon and mining taxes to be axed.
“I think the responsible thing to do is to stop hitting the economy with new taxes,” Mr Abbott told the Nine Network.