Recently, the federal government claimed that it had Treasury backing that Labor had a $10 billion black hole over 10 years in its excess franking credits for retiree’s policy.
It insisted that Labor had not taken into account “behavioural changes”, that is, where people might move their money to counter this proposal. This, however, came undone when both the Treasury and the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) expressed different views on this assertion.
Treasury secretary, John Fraser, acknowledged that the costings were not of Labor’s policy per se but of a similar policy proposed with different “behavioural” assumptions. PBO officer Jenny Wilkinson stated emphatically that behavioural changes had been taken into account, that the PBO had exactly the same information as Treasury and it stood behind the estimates published by the ALP.