The Abbott Government seems to have abandoned its pre-election commitment to reducing the nation's "skyrocketing debt". Borrowings have increased dramatically since the last election.
Now we know by how much.
Debt has increased by 13.7% over Labor's levels. Interest payments have risen a staggering 28.6% to more than thirty million dollars per day. In just the first ten months.
The Final Budget Outcome 2013-14 was released last week by Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. Buried in the long-awaited document is confirmation that net government debt at the end of June, ten months after the Coalition took office, has risen to $202.46 billion. (Table 11, page 20.) That's quite a blow-out.
The last monthly Finance Department report prepared under the previous Labor Government, for 31 August 2013, showed forecast end of year net debt at $178.10 billion.
The following monthly report, September 2013, prepared after the Coalition had taken charge, also showed projected year-end debt steady at $178.10 bn. So did the October and November reports.
In December, however, following several decisions by the incoming Treasurer, including abolishing the debt ceiling, the debt projection jumped to $191.52 billion.
This number was reaffirmed in January, February, March and April 2014. In May it was increased to $197.85 billion. Then, without notice, monthly reports ceased.
Clearly, the actual outcome under the Coalition is a cool $24.36 billion more than the debt forecast had Labor stayed on. Up 13.7%.
Hockey has attempted to blame Labor:
"The Final Budget Outcome for the 2013-14 financial year is a budget report card on the previous Government's irresponsible fiscal and economic management."
Hardly. Mr Hockey has had more than 42 weeks – and a clear mandate – to reverse anything "irresponsible". Instead, wasteful spending has increased, including dubious travelfor ministers and their entourages, costly royal visits and expensive royal commissions.
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