Debate on Canberra Liberals legislation to establish a Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has resulted in it being referred to an Assembly committee for consideration, Shadow Treasurer Brendan Smyth said today.

“Under our proposed legislation, the PBO would be established as an independent officer of the Assembly. They would undertake specified functions including: preparing policy costings for MLAs, support for the committee system, provide responses to budget papers and conduct research of budget papers and financial policy settings,” Mr Smyth said.

“The Assembly has agreed to establish a select committee to examine our legislation; however, it’s important that the PBO is established to provide clarity of costings, particularly during election periods.

“The federal Parliamentary Budget Office was established in 2012 and has a similar role to what the Canberra Liberals are proposing in the ACT.

“I look forward to working with the government, through the Assembly’s committee system to establish the PBO and hope we can reach an agreeable outcome. A PBO will enhance clarity on costings and provide a platform for enhanced financial information on policy,” Mr Smyth concluded.