If Tony Abbott is to win office at the next federal election in 2013 he has a massive savings task ahead of him. Despite Wayne Swan’s insistence that a ‘wafer-thin’ surplus will be achieved in the 2013-2014 budget, Australia will still be in a poor financial position.
In our last issue we outlined 75 ‘Radical Ideas’ that would help Tony Abbott become one of the best prime ministers in this country’s history. Many of these ideas either directly or indirectly will save the government money, and some of them (and their relative savings) are listed below. Abolishing the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA), for example, would save the government $83 million per year, and abolishing the Department of Climate Change would save the government $1.5 billion. Other policies will give a much needed ‘once-off’ boost to Australia’s bottom line. Privatising Australia Post, for example, would generate an instant $5-7 billion.
This is an excellent start if Tony Abbott wants to halt Australia’s growing debt, rebuild the surplus and most importantly—reduce the burden of government on taxpayers. Gough Whitlam pushed through a paradigm-shifting increase in the size of government that has never been reversed. If he wins the next election, Tony Abbott will have the chance to do a reverse Whitlam and reduce the size of government dramatically. Here’s where he should start.