Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm.

Leyonhjelm’s $102bn of cuts

Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm has unveiled $102 billion worth of cuts to “minor areas of Commonwealth government spending” as he declares the Coalition “out of ideas” to improve the budget bottom line.

by Joe Kelly and Rosie Lewis, The Australian.

With the government set to write off more than $13bn in spending cuts after judging that it may no longer be able to book measures still being blocked in the Senate as savings in the budget, Senator Leyonhjelm has offered up his own proposals to get the budget back on track.

“All Commonwealth spending on corporate welfare would be abolished, covering the fuel, energy, agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, manufacturing and construction sectors. Tax concessions including fuel tax credits and the research and development tax incentive would remain,” he said.
But Senator Leyonhjelm said the government should “fight” for the $13bn in savings and its omnibus and childcare package bill. “The fact that the Minister for Finance says ‘if we can’t get the spending cuts through we’ll have to put up taxes’ suggests they are out of ideas,” Senator Leyonhjelm said. “It owes it to the taxpayers of Australia not to raise taxes but it also owes it to the taxpayers of Australia not to leave them with a massive great deficit, massive great debt.”

According to Parliamentary Budget Office costings, Senator Leyonhjelm’s proposed measures would save $102bn next financial year and $1.1 trillion by 2027. The Liberal Democrats would:

  • abolish spending on environment protection, except spending on regulation of hazardous materials
  • abolish spending on recreation and culture, except spending for Australia’s continuing presence in Antartica
  • abolish spending on communications, except spending to manage radio frequency spectrum
  • abolish spending on transport, except spending on the regulation of air and sea transport

Originally published at www.theaustralian.com.au.