The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, says the government will release the Commission of Audit report on May 1, in advance of the May 13 Budget which he says will begin a repair job on the nation’s finances.
Hockey made the announcement during a speech at an event organised by The Spectator Australia. He also spoke with the British journalist and chairman of Spectator Magazines, Andrew Neil.
Hockey said all Australians had to contribute to the “heavy lifting” needed to get the Budget “back on track”. He said the fiscal consolidation programme to be announced in the Budget “will establish a clear path back to a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP by 2024”.
The Treasurer released a table of the largest government programmes and their associated costs. He said the Age Pension already takes up 10% of all Commonwealth spending, with aged care now the 8th largest category. With concessional recipients responsible for 80% of spending on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Hockey seemed to be hinting at changes in this area in the Budget.
He said Australia had a “serious spending problem” and that “our biggest costs are also our fastest growing”.
- Listen to Hockey’s speech (32m)
- Listen to Andrew Neil interview Hockey (37m)
- Watch an extract of Hockey’s speech (5m)
- Watch an extract of Neil interviewing Hockey (5m)
Text of Treasurer Joe Hockey’s Address to a function organised by The Spectator Australia.
The Case For Change
I am delighted to be here today as a guest of the Spectator Magazine.
As many of you would know, the Spectator Magazine in the UK has a long and distinguished record of commenting on politics and current affairs.
The magazine was first published way back in the nineteenth century, in 1828. I am told the 186-year history makes it the oldest English language magazine in the world. [Read more…]