Treasurer Joe Hockey is today expected to receive the Commission of Audit’s final report outlining 900-pages of cuts and twisted priorities.
Shadow Finance Minister Tony Burke said with the report now finalised, Mr Hockey has no excuse for not ending the secrecy and releasing the report publicly.
“Joe Hockey claims he wants a public debate about Budget cuts, well he can start that debate by releasing the report today,” Mr Burke said.
“There is less than a week until the WA Senate by-election, and voters still don’t know what cuts the Abbott Government is hiding from them.
“If Tony Abbott can’t trust Western Australians with the truth, why should Western Australians trust Tony Abbott?”
Even Commission Chief Tony Shepherd has said the report should be made public:
DAVID SPEERS: Should they make it public?
TONY SHEPHERD: Well look I think it’s entirely up to them, and they’ve decided they will make it public, and so that’s good.
DAVID SPEERS: But you think ‘get it out there’.
TONY SHEPHERD: I say yes, publishing it is a good idea.
Tony Shepherd – SKY NEWS – 19 March 2014
Mr Burke said the Commission of Audit was just a smokescreen for the Government to make deep cuts.
“The Commission of Audit is a Business Council idea, run by Business Council people in the interests of Business Council members,” Mr Burke said.
"They asked for it, they ran it and they will benefit from it while the rest of Australia gets done over, another example of the Government’s twisted priorities.”
The report comes after Mr Hockey deliberately cooked the books adding $68 billion to the deficit to justify the deep cuts he knows are recommended in the report.
Mr Burke said a Parliamentary Budget Office report released last week shows Mr Hockey changed standard budgeting practices to blow out levels of debt and deficit.
“Mr Hockey, through his own decisions, has blown out the deficit by $68 billion to justify the deep cuts he wants to make in the Budget,” Mr Burke said.
“This Budget is about priorities, and the Abbott Government’s priorities are all wrong.”