Government commits $2.3b during campaign

A re-elected Morrison government aims to save an additional $1 billion over the next four years by requiring the public service to make more savings in the way they manage their operations.

Releasing the government’s election campaign costings on Tuesday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said $2.3 billion had been committed for 35 policies.

These include more seniors having access to the health concession card, reducing the co-payments for taxpayer-subsidised medicines and a new policy to support first home buyers into the property market by allowing them to access their superannuation.


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To help offset these costs, the government would increase the efficiency dividend on departments and agencies by 0.5 percentage points to two per cent, saving around a further $1 billion.

Those savings are on top of the $103 billion improvements in the budget bottom line flagged in the 2022/23 budget release on March 2.

Mr Frydenberg says this is the result of more Australians being in work and fewer people being on welfare.

It was also the result of conservatively forecasting commodity prices in its economic assumptions.

For example, the budget estimates iron ore at $US55 per tonne, even though it’s trading at $US130 per tonne, the treasurer said.

“If we were to see that for another six months, it would be worth $30 billion to our budget bottom line,” Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne.

In total, the forecast $2.7 billion to be saved under the efficiency dividend increase will be driven by how departments managed their properties, technology, consultants and contractors, and staffing arrangements.

“It’s a very safe and reliable way of achieving modest savings,” Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said.

“These in no way impact the delivery of services and support to Australians.”

Labor is expected to release its election campaign costings by Thursday.

© AAP 2022