56 Recommendation of money votes

 

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A vote, resolution, or proposed law for the appropriation of revenue or moneys shall not be passed unless the purpose of the appropriation has in the same session been recommended by message of the Governor-General to the House in which the proposal originated.

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[Deleted]

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A vote, resolution, or proposed law for the appropriation of revenue or moneys shall not be passed unless the purpose of the appropriation has in the same session been recommended by message of the Governor-General to the House in which the proposal originated.

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56.1 This section will be deleted. It prevents a proposed law spending Government money from becoming law unless the purpose of the spending has been recommended by the Governor-General. When the Governor-General acts on the advice of the Government, the section means that only the Government can initiate Government spending. That was the original intention behind the English rule on which the section is based - to ensure that Government expenditure remained under control of the Government. Members of Parliament, it seems, could not be trusted to spend money wisely. While it would be possible to amend the section by substituting the words “Executive Government” for “Governor-General”, the Advancing Democracy model will instead delete this section entirely, as it represents an unnecessary and unacceptable limitation on democracy.
56.2 Section 83 of the Constitution provides that no Government money may be spent without a law being passed which authorises the expenditure, and the Advancing Democracy model does not change this requirement. To pass the law, both Houses of Parliament must approve the expenditure. When the Government has majority support in the House of Representatives, the deletion of the section will make no difference - the law cannot pass without Government support. When the Government’s majority is uncertain, or there is a ‘minority’ Government as there has been since the 2010 election, it is possible that the majority of each House will, on some items of expenditure, disagree with the Government. If those who disagree with the Government can obtain majority support for certain expenditure, why should the Government - which is in a minority on that one item - be able to prevent the expenditure? To permit it to do so would be to breach a cardinal principle of democracy - majority rule.