In this article is says:

Treasurer Joe Hockey has warned the Labor Party and the Greens to pass tough budget measures through the Senate or the government will find other ways to push through savings.

What is it talking about? What can be done to make "savings", without passing the senate?

I thought the Executive branch of government had no true power?

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This article says something similar. Though it does mention one of the things is cutting foreign aid. Which starts to answer the question.

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This article suggest the Federal Government will pay the state governments bonus money to undertake infrastructure creation.

1 Answer 1


The Australian spending rules are loosely modelled on the pre-existing British rules, and so inherited some of the quirks. The budget authorises spending departments to make payments for particular purposes (legally, it is a law allowing and directing the treasury to authorise payments for those purposes), but it does not force the relevant minister or his officials to make discretionary payments or to approve any particular use of money within those general headings.

Thus, for example, the minister could decide not to approve any particular individual foreign aid programme (unless some other law compels him), and so just happen to end up not spending the money allocated to foreign aid.

In the second link, the problem the treasurer had was that the law he wanted wasn't just a spending allocation but also had other provisions attached, and that meant it needed to pass both houses. Instead, what he proposed was getting the House, which his party controlled, to pass a special appropriation bill to allow him to spend federal money on infrastructure with broad discretion, which would allow him to decline to pay except when the privatisation requirements of the "asset recycling" bill were met. I can't remember what actually happened.

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