House debates

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Bills

Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013; Consideration in Detail

7:35 pm

Photo of Alex HawkeAlex Hawke (Mitchell, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I think we finally have a few explanations, after listening to the member for Melbourne's contribution to this debate. If he thinks the Greens vote is sitting at about 20 per cent in Australia following the last election, then there is a good explanation as to why he does not understand why we need to lift the debt limit to $500 million.

Mr Bandt interjecting

Well, you keep using the figure of 20 per cent. If the member for Melbourne represents economic orthodoxy, then I confess to being a radical evangelical—praise God!—because I do not believe the Greens could be associated with economic orthodoxy. This debate from the Labor Party has been completely disingenuous. We have seen the shadow Treasurer come in here and say, 'We're increasing the limit,' and the member for Melbourne back him up and say, 'What are the arguments? Why do we need to increase the debt limit?' This money hasn't been spent already.' Well, member for Melbourne, the forecasts already show us that this debt will peak past the debt limit already; the money has been spent. It is not for the government to show what we will spend the money on; the money has already been spent by your coalition partners in government, the Labor Party. The money has gone; the horse has bolted; you cannot shut the gate.

Mr Perrett interjecting

Hearing a lecture on economics from the member for Melbourne is bad enough. If you can be the world's best Treasurer, the member for Lilley, you have certainly got a lot of economic advisers on the backbench; but I do take umbrage at getting economics lectures from the member for Moreton, who is continuously interjecting, 'Why does the Reserve Bank need a reserve fund?' Don't give up your day job, member for Moreton, because you are certainly not going to make an economic adviser!

The facts of this debate are that the Labor Party created the debt, they created the debt ceiling, and they busted through that ceiling over four times. And now the Labor Party is getting in the way of the people that have been elected to fix the debt problem that it created.

Opposition members interjecting

You created the problem, you created the ceiling, you busted the ceiling, and now you're trying to tell us that we cannot do our job—that is, responsibly manage the economy and bring us back from your high debt levels. What are the arguments; what is the principal argument? What is this really all about? The shadow treasurer is telling us that he will approve 400 billion dollars. We are going to go past 400 billion, shadow treasurer. It won't be enough.

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