Treasurer Kevin Foley must explain a $36 million difference between Treasury and Attorney-General’s Department estimates of the revenue collected by a doubling of the Victims of Crime Levy.
“The Rann Government announced a doubling of the Victims of Crime Levy from $30 to $60 in the Budget to raise an extra $49 million over three-and-a-half years,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“However, the leaked report from the Sustainable Budget Commission, based on Attorney-General’s Department estimates, concluded that $85 million would be raised or an extra $36 million over three-and-a-half years.
“When asked to explain the $36 million difference, Justice CEO Jerome Maguire told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee yesterday that Treasury officers had reduced the estimate because they had access to “more information”.
“If the Sustainable Budget Commission estimate is accurate, there will be a massive further Budget benefit which hasn’t been revealed in the Budget papers.
“Mr Maguire told the Committee yesterday that there was already $53 million sitting unspent in the Victims of Crime Fund before the doubling of the levy in this Budget.
“Even though there would be a significant increase in unspent funds in the Victims of Crime Fund, the Rann Government has not made any decision to increase compensation payments to victims.”
In other evidence to the Committee, Mr Maguire said:
• Taxpayers had spent more than $200,000 on Dr Andrew Cannon’s defamation action against former Attorney-General Michael Atkinson;
• Taxpayers had spent $57,000 so far on Advertiser journalist Colin James’ defamation action against former Attorney-General Michael Atkinson;
• He couldn’t guarantee the future of the Women’s Information Switchboard and a decision would be taken in the next 12-18 months;
• The new Crown Advocate Michael Evans QC was being paid somewhere between $350,000 and $500,000 per annum;
• AGD still had an extra $21 million of savings (over four years) to achieve in addition to the $41 million outlined in this Budget;
• Alan Moss had been paid $81,000 and Anthony Durkin $103,000 for a disciplinary enquiry into a Public Trustee manager which led to a reprimand of the employee; and,
• He had decided not to have a disciplinary enquiry into a Public Trustee employee who had been caught providing birth and wedding certification to friends and acquaintances at no cost.