Monday, December 19, 2005

Was it a memo or a report?

Typical of the coalition government, instead of dealing with the issue of whether Costello mislead parliament, they decide to quibble over the definition.

The latest effort is about whether the Treasury gave a report or memo to Costello about the costs of the workplace reforms.
TREASURER Peter Costello has denied allegations that he misled Parliament over a Treasury analysis that showed sweeping workplace changes would put pressure on low income earners.

Mr Costello also questioned the accuracy of the Treasury documents, which show the workplace changes passed by Parliament in early December will deliver smaller wage rises for low income earners and cut productivity in the short term.

The Treasurer denied the existence of analysis on the subject when asked about it in Parliament in November.

Today, Mr Costello said he had been relying on a statement from the Treasury that it had not prepared a report on the effects of the Government's workplace reforms.

He said the Treasury analysis, obtained by The Australian newspaper under Freedom of Information laws, was a minute from Treasury that makes the case for workplace reform.

In an excellent piece of confusing politics Costello blurted out the following:
A report was carried in The Australian on November 5, 2005, which said that there had been specially commissioned advice from the Treasury and ... not me, but Treasury put out a statement saying that there hadn't been specially commissioned advice from the Treasury in relation to that."

Mr Costello said the question he answered in Parliament in November was about the existence of specially commissioned research on economic modelling, not a Treasury minute. He denied he was splitting hairs about the analysis.

"What's been released today is a minute, which is not specially commissioned research or modelling, but a minute which gathers together all of the economic case in relation to the importance of labour market deregulation," he said.

The Treasury still put the information out there that the touted benefits of the workplace reforms are questionable and marginal at best. Whether or not it was a commissioned report by the Treasurer or not doesn't matter.

No wonder the general public is sick and tired of politics and don't put any effort in voting...

Treasury advice just a 'memo' - NEWS.com.au

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