The pro-transparency measures outlined in last night’s federal Opposition Budget reply could play an important role in ensuring better budget management.
The proposals – for a Commission for Sustainable Finances and a Parliamentary Budget Office – would build on other recent reforms that improve the transparency of government finances.
For several years, spanning two governments, the BCA has called for a comprehensive and regular review to identify spending that no longer produces appropriate economic, social or environmental returns.
“The BCA welcomes the Opposition’s suggestions to show more clearly how the government is managing our economy,” said BCA Chief Executive Katie Lahey.
“We do so for the same reason that we welcomed this week’s Budget publication of estimates of the structural budget balance. Our budget works best when all Australians have the clearest possible picture of our finances and the effects of major spending and revenue-raising policies.
“All Australians need to understand that our taxing and spending are out of balance.
“Returning to surplus will require a succession of tough budgets that push down unjustified spending. Independent review can help to show both the size of the challenge and the ways we can overcome it.
“Australia needs to be pushing down the deficit 365 days of the year, not just in the weeks before the second Tuesday in May.”
“Independent review of national spending and taxing will help us do just that.”