House debates

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Questions without Notice

Strong Australian Economy

2:04 pm

Photo of Tony AbbottTony Abbott (Warringah, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | Hansard source

I do thank the member for Boothby for his question. The government's plan for a stronger Australia is quite simple. It was outlined again and again and again before the election and after the election. It is to stop the boats; it is to scrap the carbon tax; it is to build the roads of the 21st century; and it is to get the budget back under control. I can assure this parliament that this government is delivering. For almost six months there have been no successful people-smuggling ventures to our country, thanks to the fine work of the minister and also the professionalism of the naval, customs and police personnel on Operation Sovereign Borders.

We are scrapping the carbon tax because that will make the average household $550 a year better off. We are cracking on with building the roads that Labor neglected. And this budget does tackle Labor's debt and deficit disaster. The budget had to tackle Labor's debt and deficit disaster because we just cannot go on borrowing $1 billion every month just to pay the interest on the borrowings. That is $1 billion in dead money. Without this $1 billion a month interest bill we could fund in just a month the north-south road which the member for Boothby is so naturally concerned about. We could fund the Midlands Highway duplication in just two weeks without the $1 billion a month interest bill. We could fund the Gateway Motorway upgrade in Brisbane with just one month of Labor's interest bill. We could fund the rebuild of the Bruce Highway in just seven months of Labor's interest bill.

But we cannot spend more on schools, hospitals and roads because of Labor's interest bill. That $1 billion a month is the price that all Australians are paying for Labor's six years of incompetence and waste and debt and deficit disaster. I want to assure this parliament, and through this parliament the people of Australia, that this government will take the hard decisions necessary to put our country back on track. We will not squib them. That is what people elected us to do.


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