Here comes the pain: Infrastructure in Razor Gangs sights

By: Jason Whittaker


The transport industry may need to brace itself for Rudd’s Razor Gang with Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner warning of a

The transport industry may need to brace itself for Rudd’s Razor Gang with Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner warning of a budget involving "tough choices".

In an address to the National Press Club in Canberra, Tanner told attendants the Razor Gang, led by him, will take a strictly cost-benefit approach to infrastructure spending.

Tanner says infrastructure issues will be scrutinised and subjected to "rigorous expert analysis".

Tanner was blunt in outlining what businesses can expect.
"This budget is going to involve tough choices.
"There will be pain."

He says outlays of $3 to $4 billion need to be stripped in order to stave off inflation.
"It is something that is absolutely critical for us to tackle," he says.
"The alternative we cannot contemplate."

However, there is cause to suggest the transport industry will have somewhat of a say into any proposed cuts to infrastructure funding. Tanner says the Expenditure Review Committee, made up of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Tanner, will consult with ministers about proposed cuts.
"You have to get some serious input from the relevant minister," Tanner says.

As part of cutting government expenditure, Tanner says he will introduce two stages of review. The first will be "substantial cuts" to the budget as well as the introduction of additional estimates bills in the parliament to amend the prior government’s spending.

This will save $642 million over four years, according to Tanner

The second stage will be part of "a wider reform agenda".
"We intend to radically increase efficiency, transparency and accountability in government," Tanner says.

Tanner also took aim at the previous government, accusing it of profligate and wasteful spending which led to "widespread inefficiencies".

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