There has been a lot of noise over recent weeks about the Budget and what this will mean for specific sectors of our society. There are a number of key facts to remember as speculation rises prior to the Coalition’s first Budget following the election.
Number 1: No one who is elected to Government wants to cut services or reduce payments.
Number 2: The Coalition inherited $123 billion in projected deficits with Government debt heading for $667 billion unless it is addressed.
Number 3: The Coalition made a clear commitment to repair the budget and was elected to do so.
There are no simple solutions. Making the hard decisions will make the Government unpopular but we must do what is right for the Nation’s future.
Australians enjoy a high standard of living. We have high expectations of the services available to us. Ultimately the only way to make sure we continue to enjoy this way of life is if we have a sustainable Budget. We all have to share the burden of addressing the deficit as we shared in the benefits that surpluses under the Howard Government provided.
The Commission of Audit was tasked with providing a report to Government that would indicate areas where changes could be made to Government expenditure to help repair the Budget.
The report is not Government policy, but is a document which will be used by the Government as a part of the strategy to fight our way out of the economic mess we are left with after 6 years of Labor Government. Some of the 86 recommendations contained in the report may be adopted by the Government. Some will be given further consideration. Many will not be implemented.
We are living on borrowed money. We are currently paying $12 billion in interest every year. Unless we do something to reverse this trend, this figure will only rise. This is money that could be invested in hospitals, schools and the infrastructure that will set us up for the future.
If we do not address the budget situation the debt will be placed on our children’s shoulders. It is incumbent on all Australians to share the burden to address the debt, as it has been our good fortune to share in the opportunities this country has to offer.
This Budget will be about the future and ensuring Australia’s sustainability in years to come.