Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Questions without Notice
Oh, the member for Higgins has come to life; he has come to life on the fact that he made a fraudulent undertaking to the Australian people in 1995-96 when those opposite said that they would reduce foreign debt. He did nothing of the sort. It went from about $200 billion to around $600 billion when they left office. On the question of debt those opposite are all over the place.
What they have also made very plain in the debate so far is that when asked these questions, what it all boils down to is as follows: those opposite have said they would borrow either $21 billion less or $25 billion less and would refuse at the same time to back $22 billion worth of government savings. I say to those opposite that ultimately it gets stripped away here. It means that at the end of the day your policy on debt and deficit is virtually identical to the government’s. Those who observe this debate closely know that to be a fact. But, instead, what you are doing is not prosecuting a real policy difference with the government; you are prosecuting a political strategy with one objective: to talk the Australian economy down, because that is the way in which you think your political interests are going to be served in the longer term. The government’s policy of nation building for recovery is one that we will continue to implement. It is the right strategy for Australia. We want to build the economy up, not tear the economy down like those opposite.