House debates

Monday, 14 July 2014

Questions without Notice


2:43 pm

Photo of Joe HockeyJoe Hockey (North Sydney, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

I would like to thank the honourable member for the question. Bert the Beattie beater went to the last election promising to fix the mess and to fix the budget. And that is exactly what we are doing: we are fixing the budget. We laid down as a task to repair the massive disrepair left by the Labor Party, because that is part of our Economic Action Strategy. Getting rid of the carbon tax is part of our Economic Action Strategy to help to create more jobs and a stronger and more competitive economy. Getting rid of the mining tax is part of our plan, our Economic Action Strategy, to build a stronger economy and a more competitive economy. Fixing the budget is part of our Economic Action Strategy to create a stronger economy—a more competitive economy with more jobs.

That is backed up by a number of statements that have been issued by respected economic commentators and decision makers over the last few weeks. The Governor of the Reserve Bank, Glenn Stevens, warned on Saturday:

… by the time these sorts of problems have gone from being out on the horizon to on our doorstep, they have usually become a lot more difficult to tackle.

He went on to say:

We shouldn't leave it—

budget repair—

until the gaps emerge …

The Governor of the Reserve Bank, in a rare public statement of this type, has supported what the government has decided—to take action now to repair the budget so the Australian community does not have to face massive bills and punitive measures in a few years time.

The Labor Party is in denial. Before the last election, they said the budget needed to be repaired. After the election, they said, 'There is no budget that needs to be repaired; everything is just hunky-dory'—and they are opposing everything they possibly can. That is despite the fact that, in opposition, we supported 80 per cent of their savings—and then we added $50 billion on top of that to make sure the budget was in even better shape. The Labor Party is opposing 80 per cent of our savings, and they are the ones with 25 senators across the way voting against budget repair. It is not three members of the Palmer United Party; it is not even the 10 Greens; it is the 25 Labor senators over there who are voting against budget repair, the budget repair the Secretary of the Treasury says must be done now. Moody's rating agency also said it must be done now. Even John Edwards, a former adviser to the Labor Party, said:

I've no doubt there is a budget crisis.

Do not believe me; believe your own former advisors. Get out of the way of us fixing the budget now.


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