SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

8 April 2019

MORRISON BUDGET NIGHT CHAOS

Summary of timeline tabled by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann in Senate Estimates.

Tuesday 2 April

5:30-6pm Initial discussion occurred on the sidelines of Cabinet between Prime Minister, Treasurer, Finance Minister, Ministers Pyne and Fletcher.

7:00pm PM&C Government Division alerted to potential change to the Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) being considered by Government.

7:18pm PM&C Social Policy Division first made aware Government is considering extending EAP to additional welfare payments.

7:30-8pm DSS Deputy Secretary (Social Security) Nathan Williamson contacted ‘during the Budget Speech’ by Minister Fletcher’s Office regarding the revised EAP.

8:16pm Finance contacted by DSS to discuss costings.

8:42pm PMO emailed PM&C advising of the proposed policy change and that formal correspondence from Minister Fletcher would follow.

9:05pm Minister Fletcher sent correspondence requesting policy authority to make the agreed changes to the Energy Assistance Payment (including cost estimates).

9:06pm PMO received Fletcher correspondence and immediately forwarded to PM&C.

10:15pm PM provides verbal policy authority for the amended measure, subject to no material change to the costing.

11:40pm Finance confirms indicative costs with the PMO and FMO.

Wednesday 3 April

7:02am Treasurer confirms in ABC interview that the EAP will include Newstart and other payments.

8:03am Draft authority letter from Prime Minister to Minister Fletcher received in the PMO.

9:04am Prime Minister’s formal policy authority letter for the changes to the EAP sent to Minister Fletcher’s office.

9:05am Minister Fletcher received the Prime Minister’s formal policy authority for the changes to the EAP.

10:19am The updated Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives by Minister Fletcher.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.