Has Bowen been caught out? In claiming that there is a $10 billion black hole in the Coalition’s budget savings, he released three confidential minutes from Treasury, Finance and the PBO. (Interested in the Cat view on this – is this ethical?)
One is dated 5 August and is marked Protected.
Up to their old tricks, prior to the election, the government requested a series of “hypothetical costings” based on some of the Coalition’s policy – viz. abolishing the MRRT and the carbon tax as well as culling 12,000 public servants. These exercises did not specifically cost the Coalition proposals.
In what could be one of the best smack-downs of the campaign, Parkinson and Tune has released this statement. Wow, wow, wow.
Statement on Costings by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Finance and DeregulationJoint media release with the Department of Finance and Deregulation29 August 2013There have been a series of reports today regarding costings undertaken by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Finance and Deregulation.The Departments of Treasury and Finance were asked to prepare costings on policy options, which were provided to the Departments by the Government prior to the election being called. These costings were completed and submitted to the Government prior to the election being called. This is consistent with long-standing practice.These costings were not prepared under the election costings commitments’ process outlined in the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998.At no stage prior to the Caretaker period has either Department costed Opposition policies.Different costing assumptions, such as the start date of a policy, take up assumptions, indexation and the coverage that applies, will inevitably generate different financial outcomes.The financial implications of a policy may also differ depending on whether the costing is presented on an underlying cash balance or fiscal balance basis.The Treasury and Finance costings presented in the advice to Government reported today were presented on an underlying cash balance basis.Dr Martin Parkinson PSMSecretaryThe TreasuryMr David Tune PSM
SecretaryDepartment of Finance and Deregulation