SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

MINISTER FOR FINANCE AND DEREGULATION

MEDIA RELEASE

1 December 2011

OPPOSITION DISHONESTY ON COSTINGS REVEALED

TOPIC: COALITION POLICY COSTINGS

The Coalition’s economic credibility is in tatters after a finding that the accountants who costed its 2010 election policies breached professional standards.

A tribunal of the Institute of Chartered Accountants fined the two Perth-based accountants $5000 each because their costings of Coalition policies failed to contain a “statement that the procedures performed do not constitute either an audit or a review”.

This is despite the fact that Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has repeatedly claimed the dodgy costings were an audit.

“You know what if the fifth biggest accounting firm in Australia signs off on our numbers it is a brave person to start saying they’re accounting tricks. I tell you it is an audit, this is an audited statement.’’

JOE HOCKEY – ABC AM – 19 AUGUST 2010

”What we had last time was the most comprehensive analysis that you could possibly have.’’

JOE HOCKEY – SMH – 22 SEPTEMBER 2011

The Tribunal’s findings clearly indicate the Coalition sought to conceal its true costings from the Australian public, refusing to have them properly costed by the Departments of Finance and Treasury.

And we read today that they are planning to do the same again, hiding their costings from voters at the next election.

At the last election the Opposition were found to have a $10.6 billion black hole in their election policy costings. Since then Mr Hockey has made clear the Coalition needs to make $70 billion in cuts just to get to the starting line, with this number growing with each unfunded spending commitment.

The Australian public deserve the right to scrutinise Opposition polices.

Given their record, the Opposition must commit to Treasury, Finance or PBO costings of their election policies. Anything less than that is a sham and today’s reports only confirm that point.