House debates

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Matters of Public Importance

Economic Leadership

3:50 pm

Photo of Brett WhiteleyBrett Whiteley (Braddon, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

It is quite interesting to have an MPI where the first two speakers from the other side would probably fit into the category of best over-actors in the parliament. That would be the first characteristic I would describe them by; the second would be that they have the worst credibility and worst track record when it comes to economic leadership. What do we have?—one, two, three, four, five, six, seven members from the entire Labor Party in this place have turned up for what they have described as the most important and strategic debate in this parliament. Who do we have? We have the former Treasurer, who promised surpluses every day of the week but did not deliver one. The only thing he can deliver on is the best tan in the parliament. Then we have a tired front bench that is really just back in the same old corral, talking the same old talking points.

Those listening in the gallery and elsewhere would understand this—it is pretty straightforward—that the party over there, which wants to talk about economic leadership, left this country in financial ruin. Every day you wake up to find the government has to spend $100 million more than we earn because we are trying to clean up the mess that those opposite left. Every month we spend $1 billion to pay the interest on the bill they left after John Howard and Peter Costello left with money in the bank. How many times can a member of parliament stand here and tell the Australian people about the track record of those opposite?

They would have you believe that they have changed their spots. Let me tell you: they are still the tired, old, socialist, spending lot that we knew from the six years of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government. Let no-one fool you: these are the people who have no control, no discipline when it comes to spending.

Economic leadership is the topic of the MPI today. Economic leadership is many things, but, fundamentally, it means two things: do not spend more than you earn; and create the environment and the conditions that deliver the confidence and policies that business—small business in particular—needs to not just survive but thrive. They would be my two descriptors of what good economic leadership is. This is what this government is about. It is about trying not to spend more than we earn, but that is an impossible task at the moment because of what we had been left with by those opposite.

Anybody in this country would know that these people opposite, the Labor Party of Australia, were nothing short of economic vandals. We have spent the last 2½ years trying to clean up the mess that they left, but they have refused to be part of the solution. They have just wanted to stand up and make everyone try and think that the six years between 2007 and 2013 never existed—they just disappeared. It was a dream—


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