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Full response from Finance Minister Mathias Cormann

A spokesperson for Mathias Cormann told The Conversation by email:

“When we came into Government we inherited spending growth of about 3.7% above inflation on average per annum, which we have brought down to about 1.5% on average per annum above inflation so far.

The improvement in the budget bottom line for 2014/15 of more than $3 billion, was driven by Government spending being $2.9 billion lower than expected. This is a 0.3% drop in spending from the previous year, in real terms.”

Minister for Finance, Mathias Cormann said:

Labor left behind a rapidly deteriorating Budget position, with excessive, unaffordable and unsustainable spending growth.

They locked most of that in by legislation, in particular for the period beyond the published forward estimates at the time of the last election.

We have been working very hard to turn that situation around, by pursuing policies to strengthen economic and jobs growth, boosting revenue, by getting spending growth under control and by over time reducing spending as a share of GDP.

We are now in a much stronger economic and fiscal position than we would have been if Labor had stayed in government and if we had not changed many of Labor’s bad policies.

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