ABS response to 'Surveys cut as knives drawn on public sector' and 'Beware the false economy behind Rudd's bright ideas' (Sydney Morning Herald 21 April 2008)

Two articles in the Sydney Morning Herald refer to plans by the Australian Government to reduce the ABS budget by $20 million in the upcoming May budget. This is not the case.

The Australian Statistician is identifying a number of initiatives to reduce expenditure for the 2008-09 financial year to ensure the ABS is able to continue to work within its allocated budget.

These reductions will offset the rising costs of conducting survey programs, in particular the household survey program, as well as the Government's additional 2 per cent efficiency dividend.

The ABS expects to finalise the full set of initiatives shortly, and will make the details available on its website.

The ABS will continue to provide a very wide range of statistics of high quality and integrity which are used by governments, businesses and individuals in planning and decision making.

The ABS is discussing its longer term funding arrangements with the Department of Finance and Deregulation.