среда, 29 февраля 2012 г.

FED:We will submit policies: Abbott

AAP General News (Australia)
FED:We will submit policies: Abbott

By Julian Drape

CANBERRA, Aug 10 AAP - Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has promised to submit all of
the coalition's announced policies to the treasury and finance departments this week,
following an intense two days of bickering over costings.

But that doesn't mean the coalition trusts the Treasury to do a good job, with campaign
spokesman Andrew Robb declaring the department isn't "God".

The government has accused Mr Abbott of contradicting his treasury spokesman Joe Hockey
to the tune of $7 billion on spending measures.

Treasurer Wayne Swan further claimed on Tuesday the coalition had overestimated by
$800 million the amount it would save by axing Labor's national broadband network.

In response, the coalition accused Labor of having its own $3.4 billion budget black
hole - although that line of attack was blunted when Mr Abbott admitted the coalition
analysis contained "a couple of typos".

In an attempt to rule a line under the damaging debate, the opposition leader promised
on Tuesday: "We will submit all of the announced policies by the end of the week."

Policies that were being held over for the last week of the campaign obviously wouldn't
be submitted by then, Mr Abbott said.

The coalition already has dropped off 52 of its policies for costing, Mr Robb told
reporters in Canberra.

They include 39 savings measures totalling $14.8 billion and 13 spending proposals
worth $11 billion.

But Mr Robb questioned the worth of Treasury's analysis, which Mr Swan relied on when
declaring Mr Abbott had a $800 million hole in his pocket.

"Treasury miscalculated the revenue from their (Labor's) proposed mining tax by a lazy
$12 billion," he said, adding "they're not God in those buildings down there".

Mr Abbott earlier had said he was "very sceptical" of Treasury's costings.

The coalition argues setting up an independent budget office to examine spending would
stymie argy-bargy during an election campaign.

The treasurer called a press conference on Tuesday morning to admonish the opposition
for questioning Treasury.

"It's always the last refuge on a policy-free zone to bag the Treasury," he told reporters,
arguing the the coalition was "grossly incompetent" when it came to financial management.

Mr Swan also said Mr Abbott's claim that coalition spending - excluding the abolishment
of the mining tax - wouldn't exceed $18 billion was plainly wrong.

"On our count their spending commitments, without taking into account issues or revenue
associated with the mining tax, is at least $25 billion."

As for the accusation that Labor was itself wearing a $3.4 billion black hole, the
treasurer dismissed the coalition's analysis as "extraordinary", "shoddy" and "stupid".

AAP jcd/rl/mm/de


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