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Welfare facing chop in mini-Budget

Business

The federal mid-year budget review is expected to find significant savings in welfare through a crackdown on fraud and administration improvements.

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Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will release the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook in Perth this afternoon, a document that is expected to show marked deterioration in deficits over the next four years and a cut in economic growth forecasts.

Cormann told ABC Radio there would be “significant focus on integrity measures” to ensure welfare is directed to those who are entitled and most in need of government support.

“We’ve made a real concerted effort to improve the integrity of the payment system to ensure spending is efficient and effective as possible,” he said.

Cormann played down predictions of horrendous debt figures.

“We have been able to improve the budget bottom line, by offsetting any spending increase,” he said.

“Overall spending will be lower in this budget update than what was anticipated at budget time.”

He ruled out further cuts to the foreign aid budget, which had been raided previously.

There would be new expenditure to resettle 12,000 refugees from Syria and for cancer drug treatment subsidies, he said.

– AAP

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