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Government Releases National Commission Of Audit Report

The federal government has released the report of the National Commission of Audit.

Hockey

The report makes 86 recommendations – 64 dealing with budget finances and 22 dealing with public sector performance and accountability as well as infrastructure.

The Commission says: “The recommendations offer savings estimated at $60 to $70 billion per year within ten years. On top of this with the reduction of debt there will be a significant annual saving in interest.”

Amongst other things, the report calls for the income taxing power to be returned to the states in order to address vertical fiscal imbalance and to allow the states to be 100% responsible for policies in areas such as education and health. [Read more…]


Hockey Gives Audit Commission Extra Fortnight For First Report

The Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has extended the Commission of Audit’s first reporting date by two weeks.

The Commission requested an extension of its January 31 deadline.

Text of media release from Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Commission of Audit’s phase one reporting date

The Federal Government has granted a request from the Commission of Audit to extend its reporting date for the phase one report by up to two weeks. [Read more…]


Commission Of Audit Interrogated By Senate Select Committee

Members of the Abbott government’s Commission of Audit appeared before a Senate Select Committee today.

Committee

The Commission of Audit was established by the government on October 13.

On December 11, the Senate established a Select Committee to inquire into the Commission of Audit and any reports it makes to the government. [Read more…]


Health Minister Peter Dutton Won’t Comment On Medicare Levy Speculation

The Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, has refused to comment on speculation that the Commission of Audit will recommend a Medicare co-payment for bulk-billed patients.

Dutton“We won’t be commenting on speculation around what the Commission of Audit may or may not recommend,” Dutton said.

Media speculation this week has suggested consideration of a $5 upfront co-payment for bulk-billed GP patients. The speculation suggests savings of around $700 million a year can be made by introducing the co-payment.

The idea is said to apply to families after they have made 12 visits to a GP in any year. Pensioners and health card holders would be exempt.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Penny Wong, described the proposal as a tax on health care and said the Abbott government is not the government voters thought they were getting. [Read more…]


Government Increases Debt Limit, Announces Commission Of Audit

The Abbott government has increased the debt limit from $300 billion to $500 billion and announced a Commission of Audit.

At a press conference in Canberra today, Treasurer Joe Hockey said that Commonwealth Government Securities on issue would reach $379 billion by 2015-16 and that peak debt will now exceed $400 billion.

He said advice from the Australian Office of Financial Management is that “it is prudent to maintain a buffer of $40-60 billion”. The government will legislate to increase the Commonwealth Government debt limit to $500 billion. [Read more…]