The Senate Select Committee into the Abbott Government’s Commission of Audit released its first interim report today. Greens Senator and Chair of the Committee, Dr Richard Di Natale, said that today’s report concludes that the Abbott Government was using the Commission of Audit as cover to justify the spending cuts it wants to make.
“The Commission of Audit is nothing more than a prop the Abbott Government intends to use as a justification for the cruel cuts it has in store,” said Senator Di Natale.
“The Abbott Government has constructed very narrow terms of reference for the commission and hand-picked ideological allies as commissioners so that it gets precisely the outcome it wants. Tony Abbott has picked the players and written the rules so that the game was rigged before it even begun.
“The Senate Committee has found that the economic assumptions that underpin the terms of reference are flawed. The commission only has a mandate to look at spending cuts but the bulk of evidence to the Senate Committee indicated that government spending was stable. If there is a problem with the budget it is largely a revenue problem.
“Asking the Commission of Audit to achieve a one per cent surplus in a decade through spending cuts alone is asking them to approach the task with one hand tied behind their back. The Abbott Government wants the Commission of Audit to recommend sweeping cuts in areas like health and social services and it has rigged a process to get precisely that outcome.
“Budgets are always about choices. They are about what our priorities are and what kind of country we want to be.
“By rigging the Commission of Audit process to protect the big end of town and justify cruel cuts that will hurt ordinary people, the Abbott Government has exposed what its priorities really are.
“No matter what Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey say, this process is all about ideology.”
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