SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

7 April 2019

ESTIMATES UNCOVERS MORRISON’S BUDGET CHAOS

Senate Estimates has uncovered the utter chaos that characterises the Morrison Government’s 2019 Budget.

In just two days of hearings ministers and officials revealed:

  • Senior officials in the Prime Minister’s own department found out about the Budget backflip on the energy payment for Newstart recipients when they heard the Treasurer announce it on the ABC.
  • Staff of the minister responsible for the energy payment were calling public servants asking how much it would cost to backflip and include Newstart recipients while the Treasurer was still on his feet delivering the Budget speech.
  • Home Affairs officials confirmed they asked for a managing director of Paladin – responsible for a contract worth $423 million – to remove themselves from their job, despite the Department previously saying they were “quite happy with the services that they’re undertaking.”
  • The Minister for the Environment and the Liberal Member for the marginal seat of Dunkley announced grants from an environment fund that is yet to be established.
  • The Government’s own plan to cut transport emissions is based on an assumption that Electric Vehicles “would make up between 25% and 50% of new car sales by 2030” – despite the Liberals boasting they have no plans to lift sale of EVs in Australia.
  • The Government’s new “$525 million Skills Package” actually has only $54.5 million of new spending in it.

Nothing better illustrates the chaos and division that have been the hallmarks of the six years of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government than the 2019 Budget debacle.

Even before the ink on the Budget papers was dry, they were being rewritten, with a backflip that blew an $80 million hole in the Budget.

Australians deserve better than a Government obsessed with its internal discussions, and so focussed on looking after its mates it’s given up governing for the Australian people.

It’s time for the Prime Minister to call an election, and give the Australian people the chance to end six years of chaos and division by choosing a Shorten Labor Government and a fairer, more equal country where the economy works in the interests of everyone.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.