House debates

Monday, 9 December 2013


Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013; Consideration of Senate Message

4:24 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

'Stick to your election promises when it comes to paying down the debt.' The Treasurer just said it himself. Apparently the Australian people got it wrong, because when they heard the now Prime Minister and the now Treasurer say, 'We'll pay off the debt,' as one of the three fundamental promises, what they really meant was, 'We'll vote with the Greens to get rid of the debt limit.' Remember the Prime Minister on the Bolt interview—and the Manager of Opposition Business very correctly pointed out to the House that you have to work really hard to get a bad interview as a Liberal Prime Minister on the Bolt show—where he said, 'We'll keep the promises we made, not the promises people think we made.' Apparently a promise the people think the Liberal Party made was to pay off the debt. The promise they really made was to vote with the Greens—the economic fringe-dwellers, as the Prime Minister explained—to actually abolish the debt limit, which the then opposition voted against increasing twice, in 2009 and 2012, despite the Prime Minister of Australia standing at that dispatch box and denying it, saying 'We never voted against increases to the debt limit.' They twice voted against increases to the debt limit in this House and/or the other house.

What we are seeing today is the hypocrisy of a party which is voting with another party, which they described as economic fringe-dwellers—those are not my words; they are the Prime Minister's words—to get rid of Australia's debt limit. This is a Treasurer and a Prime Minister who said before the election, 'We have a budget emergency on our hands.' And what have they done since? The Treasurer has given $9 billion to the Reserve Bank


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