Tony Shepherd to head Federal Commision of Audit

A FEDERAL Commission of Audit will be headed by Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd, with Treasurer Joe Hockey telling reporters he would help ease "significant structural pressures" in the budget.

Mr Shepherd will chair a four person team includes former Howard government minister Amanda Vanstone, with Peter Boxall, Tony Cole and Robert Fisher.

Mr Hockey also raised Australia's debt ceiling from $300 billion to $500 billion

The Commission will consider areas where responsibilities are duplicated between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments.

Its first phase report is due before the end of January, with the second phase due before the end of March 2014.