Monday, 9 December 2013
Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013; Consideration of Senate Message
That the further amendments, including an amendment of the title, be agreed to.
Madam Speaker, if you ever needed a more clear demonstration of how the Australian Labor Party have dealt themselves out of this debate, of how the Australian Labor Party have lost any credibility at all when it comes to this debate, then you just saw it when the Greens and the two Independents walked to this side of the chamber. By walking from there to this side of the chamber, they demonstrated that they were willing to put economic orthodoxy on the table. It stands in contrast to the new economic fringe dwellers, which is the Australian Labor Party.
I have heard members of the Australian Labor Party claim repeatedly that they could not understand why the debt ceiling of more than $400 billion needed to go. They did not understand why there needed to be a debt ceiling of $500 billion, which was of course the first call that the coalition made. The reason—and it is really not that complicated—is that, as was attested to by members of the Australian Labor Party, peak debt under Labor was forecast to reach $370 billion. We know from the tabled Australian Office of Financial Management minute that you need a $60 billion buffer. Let me go very slowly through it for the benefit of the Australian Labor Party: 370 plus 60 equals 430. I will break it down again: 370 plus 60 equals 430. So there you go, Madam Speaker, there is the great riddle that the Australian Labor Party cannot work out.
When the Australian Labor Party say with their hands on their heart, 'Oh, we only want it to go up to $400 billion,' let them now understand why. It is because 370 plus 60 equals 430. So I say to the Australian Labor Party that is the reason your $400 billion was nothing other than a political gimmick and that is the reason we walked away from it. When we could not get any agreement from the Australian Labor Party, we spoke to the Greens—and guess what? The Greens were the sensible ones who were willing to recognise the best way forward and what was clearly in Australia's national interest.