Budget office to audit all policies: Swan
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CANBERRA, Feb 22 AAP
February 22 2013, 06:52AM
All election policies will be independently audited and published a month after elections, under a new plan to be announced by federal Treasurer Wayne Swan.
Under the plan, the impact of election policies on the budget bottom line would be made clear for the general public.
The government will legislate to give the independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) more money to cost all parties' policies, Mr Swan will tell the Australian Business Economists breakfast briefing in Sydney on Friday.
"This will enhance the capacity for costings to be prepared in the lead up to the election, removing any excuse for policies to be released like thought balloons rather than rigorously-costed policies," Mr Swan will say.
"This will remove the capacity of any political party to try to mislead the Australian people and punish those that do."
The treasurer will also commit to release the 2012-13 preliminary underlying cash balance once the Treasury and Finance departments tell the government they have a reliable figure.
"There will be no fiscal surprises after the election," Mr Swan will say.
Recent final budget outcomes have been released between September 24 and 30.
A similar time would mean the budget's bottom line would be released after the proposed election date of September 14.
Mr Swan indicated last December the government was unlikely to return the budget to surplus due to less than forecast tax revenue.
But the government will continue to find savings as it prepares the May budget to pay for big spending reforms like the national disability insurance scheme and the Gonski school plan, Mr Swan will say on Friday.