News National Knife taken to govt agencies

Knife taken to govt agencies

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The Federal Government is planning to axe another 175 agencies in a bid to save more than half a billion dollars over four years.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is set to make the announcement as part of the Government’s budget update on Monday.

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Among those agencies set to be abolished are the Diabetes Advisory Group, Anzac Centenary Public Fund Board and the Local Government Ministers Forum.

Other agencies including the Australian Government Solicitor and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Advisory Group will be merged into Government departments.

Senator Cormann said the Government wants to streamline agencies and avoid duplication.

“The goal is to ensure the Government is as big as it needs to be but as small as it can be,” he told Sky News.

“We believe we inherited a bloated public service from our predecessors and part of our effort to repair the budget and the administration and operations of government.”

The Coalition has already axed 76 government bodies since coming to office last year.

The proposed scrapping of agencies comes after Treasurer Joe Hockey revealed the budget deficit would be worse than the Government had previously forecast when it releases the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) on Monday.

Mr Hockey said the drop in iron ore prices and others factors such as Labor blocking spending cuts would ensure the budget did not return to surplus in 2018 as previously forecasted.

He said more cuts would be announced next week.

“They’re modest savings overall because our expenditure is very modest,” Mr Hockey said.

“New spending – we’re offsetting with new savings.

“The savings we’re announcing are not going to have a negative impact on the Australian economy.”

Last May’s budget forecast a $30 billion deficit this financial year, and the Treasurer said that figure would now be much worse.

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