10 Dec 2012

Government debt could become 'calamitous': Treasury chief

7:29 pm on 10 December 2012

The head of the Treasury has warned of the risks posed to future generations' entitlements if current politicians put off addressing pressures on Government spending caused by an ageing population.

The Treasury is consulting with an outside group of experts on its Long Term Fiscal Plan which looks at pressures on Government spending in the next 50 years.

Gabriel Makhlouf says if entitlements in health and welfare are not reined in Government debt could rise to calamitous levels by 2061.

He says the longer governments take to address pressures on spending caused by the ageing population then the bigger the cuts will have to be later to keep debt to prudent levels.