A report released overnight by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows in the few months Joe Hockey has been Treasurer, he has presided over the fastest budget deterioration anywhere in the advanced world.
The report shows the effect of Mr Hockey doubling the budget deficit, adding $68 billion over the forward estimates in the Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO).
Acting Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Finance Minister Tony Burke said the IMF report shows the depths to which Joe Hockey will stoop to pave the way for his deep cuts to health, education and pensions.
“Joe Hockey has presided over the fastest budget deterioration anywhere in the advanced world,” Mr Burke said.
“Joe Hockey has abandoned the cap on spending, changed long standing economic assumptions and effectively cooked the books to justify the deep cuts he has planned in the May budget.
“For weeks we’ve seen selected leaking of all manner of cuts, Joe Hockey trying to get the GST back on the agenda and yesterday a proposed new tax on hospital visits, what is going on in the Treasurer’s office?”
Mr Burke said the IMF report highlighted the Government’s twisted priorities and raised questions about the hidden cuts in the still yet to be released Commission of Audit report.
“The 900-pages of hidden cuts in the Government’s Commission of Audit Report have been sitting on Joe Hockey’s desk for weeks now,” Mr Burke said.
“Joe Hockey must come clean with the Australian people and release the Commission of Audit report so that everyone can see what he is planning in the May budget.
“He is clearly cementing the way for massive cuts to areas such as health, education and pensions by manufacturing a dire budget with cooked books.
“This Government has very twisted priorities and every Australian will pay for Joe Hockey’s deceit.”