Malcolm Turnbull has been caught out misleading Australians by pretending his government has already released its final budget position.
This morning, when asked if he would release his government’s 10-year costings, Mr Turnbull said:
“From budget night, all of our numbers have been set out and they have been set out and confirmed in the PEFO independently, objectively, by the Secretaries of Finance and Treasury.”
[Malcolm Turnbull, Press Conference, 8 June 2016]
This directly contradicts his Treasurer and his Finance Minister, who have both admitted the Budget does not reflect the Government’s final figures:
“…when there are additional measures that have to be taken into account, then of course the offsets have to be identified for that.”
[Scott Morrison, Australian Financial Review, 26 May 2016]
“Towards the end of the campaign we’ll reconcile all policies and how we are going to pay for them.”
[Mathias Cormann, Australian Financial Review, 27 May 2016]
It’s clear the Liberals have made several unfunded spending commitments during the campaign. Since the release of the Budget four weeks ago:
- The Turnbull Government has announced it will delay and then review the backpackers tax after the election.
- The Turnbull Government has struck deals on its cuts to pathology and diagnostic imaging, without explaining the budget impact.
- The Turnbull Government has made promises to the dairy sector without making clear the budget implications.
In addition, the Turnbull Government has floated numerous new big spending commitments:
- Mr Morrison has said he may ‘re-calibrate’ the Turnbull Government’s tax policy after the election.
- Backbench Liberals have called for a change to the Turnbull Government’s superannuation policy after the election.
- Mr Turnbull has said the cost of his government’s child care policy may change after the election.
The Budget also contained several ‘zombie’ measures that have no hope of passing the Parliament – further undermining the Turnbull Government’s own bottom line.
The Liberals have repeatedly called on Labor to release our final budget position, but refuse to do the same. The Turnbull Government can’t even meet the standard it set for others.
Now Malcolm Turnbull is pretending Australians already know the whole truth about the Liberals’ costings. He is committing fiscal fraud on the Australian people.
Well before the election, Labor will release the budget impact of our policies over both four and ten years. The Liberals need to meet their own standards and do the same.