MEDIA RELEASE: Hockey and Cormann at odds already on Commission of Cuts

Less than 90 minutes after announcing their Commission of Audit, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Assistant Treasurer Mathias Cormann are already at loggerheads on what programs will be targeted for cuts.

At this afternoon's 3.30pm press conference, Mr Hockey said:

            Every area of government is going to be examined. There are no restrictions.

At 5pm on Sky News, Mr Cormann's wheels were spinning hard in reverse when he said:

            Now, we are not going to cut spending to health and education.

If the Government can try to backtrack on quarantining health and education in less than two hours, why can't they guarantee other areas won't be cut - like national security or defence?

Why can't Mr Hockey guarantee Australia's Age Pensioners that their payments won't be cut?

Why can't the Government tell Australian families that their assistance will not be taken away?

Why can't Mr Hockey and Mr Cormann rule out increasing taxes on workers and businesses to pay for their promises, like their expensive and unfair Paid Parental Leave Scheme.

Until these guarantees are made, everything - including pensions, child care, defence, national security, federal police, medical research - is in the firing line.

If the Government's two Treasury Ministers are saying polar opposite things on the exact same issue, how can Australians trust anything they say?

Tony Burke