Caretaker Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that Independent MPs will have access to full government and opposition costings, as requested.
Caretaker Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that, following talks with the Liberal leader Tony Abbott, Independent MPs will have access to full government and opposition costings, as requested.
Gillard said that she had agreed to Abbott's demands that any costings or information given by the opposition to Treasury or the Finance Department be withheld from the government.
Her only caveat being that once Treasury had reached the end of that process, every Australian should have access to the information.
The caretaker prime minister said that the opposition leader had raised concerns about where the information might go, but was now comfortable, as was she, with submitting party budgets for analysis.
She added that the Labor party's budgets had already been costed by Treasury and were publicly available.
The move also requires an amendment to caretaker government convention, allowing the three independent MPs to have a Treasury briefing on the budgetary impact of Labor and coalition policies.
Gillard said that in the meantime “stable and effective government continues.”
The caretaker leader said she had also been in talks with Bob Brown and Green member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt, about forming a minority government.
She called the discussions “positive and constructive”.