Coalition says its savings total so far is $31 billion

Joe Hockey has announced the costings of the controversial paid parental leave scheme. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

The Coalition has released a package of additional savings, bringing its total savings put out so far to $31.6 billion.

Savings announced by shadow treasurer Joe Hockey and finance spokesman Andrew Robb today are extra measures from the proposed abolition of the mining tax and the carbon tax.

The opposition has been under intense pressure to give more financial details, with the Prime Minister again today insisting a Coalition government had a funding hole of $70 billion - a figure denied by the opposition.

The Coalition will not release until next week its final spending package, and it still has some savings measures to come. Today’s savings are on top of more than $17 billion already announced by the Coalition.

Hockey and Robb said the latest savings confirmed there were “no cuts to spending on hospitals or schools” as Labor had been claiming. There were also no cuts to defence or medical research.

“Total Coalition savings will be vastly below the $70 billion figure routinely touted by Labor,” they said.

The Coalition also released details of the controversial paid parental leave scheme, which has a gross cost of $9.8 billion over the forward estimates. But, the Coalition says, will have a positive impact of $1.1 billion on the budget bottom line.

Abolition of the current scheme will save $3.7 billion over the forward estimates; other offsets will come from some increase in tax receipts and decrease in benefit payments owing to the higher remuneration mothers would receive, and preventing double-dipping by public servants.

The net cost of the PPL after offsets would be $3.3 billion, while the levy on the largest companies to help pay for it would raise $4.4 billion.

“The Coalition’s PPL scheme is fully funded on an ongoing basis, and results in a small net benefit to the budget of just over $1 billion over the forward estimates.”

Abolishing the remaining spending linked to the carbon tax brings savings of $7.5 billion.

The additional carbon tax savings include discontinuing business tax compensation measures to provide partial relief to selected sectors and industries worth $5.1 billion.

Discontinuing energy market compensation measures would raise $0.5 billion and discontinuing land initiatives and “unnecessary bureaucracies” would save $0.4 billion. Getting rid of other carbon tax measures no longer needed saves $1.5 billion.

The Coalition would keep the household compensation package.

Abolishing a range of further spending measures from the mining tax package would save nearly $5 billion.

They include discontinuing each of instant asset write-off ($2.9 billion), phase down of interest withdrawal tax ($0.4 billion) and tax loss carry-back ($0.9 billion). Accelerated depreciation for motor vehicles would be removed (0.4 billion) and there would be a saving from reduced administrative measures from scrapping the tax ($0.1 billion).

Hockey said the final opposition balance sheet would be signed off in writing from the Coalition’s review panel of “eminent” experts: Geoff Carmody, co-founder of Access Economics and current director of Geoff Carmody and Associates, Len Scanlan, former Queensland auditor-general and Peter Shergold, former secretary of the Prime Minister’s department and currently Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney.

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