Liberals' promised cuts to hit ICT

An extra $1.183 billion in cuts to government spending promised by the Coalition as part of its federal election campaign, includes $204.1 million in ICT cuts over the next four years.

An extra $1.183 billion in cuts to government spending promised by the Coalition as part of its federal election campaign, includes $204.1 million in ICT cuts over the next four years.

The Coalition today released an updated list of budget-savings measures (PDF) that includes a number of cuts to public programs and government-funded arrangements with business. The document had been revised in light of the updated economic forecast released by Treasurer Wayne Swan last week.

The Liberal Party had already promised to cut funding to ICT projects including the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the Digital Education Revolution, but in an additional $1.183 billion in expected savings promised today by the Tony Abbott-led Coalition included $100 million saved over the next four years by axing the planned Universal Service Obligation Company (USO Co), another $100 million saved by ditching retraining and redeployment of Telstra staff, and another $4.1 million saved via cancellation of the MySkills website.

"All of us want to see better government services and government spending that provides value for taxpayers and the community," the Coalition said in a statement. "But no responsible government should fund programs that do not deliver value for taxpayer dollars."

"Australian taxpayers and families deserve a government that will rein in its own spending and ensure that its spending will not place further upward pressure on interest rates and taxes."

The news that funding would be chopped for USO Co and for Telstra redeployment comes as no surprise, since having already committed itself to can the National Broadband Network, the Coalition has also said it would cancel the government's $11 billion NBN deal with Telstra if it won the election. Money to form USO Co and funding for Telstra employees were a part of the agreement.

(Front page image credit: Scissors image by Creative Tools, CC2.0)

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