House debates

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Statements by Members


1:57 pm

Photo of Paul FletcherPaul Fletcher (Bradfield, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Government Services and the Digital Economy) Share this | Hansard source

At the last election Labor promised cheaper energy costs and cheaper mortgages. Instead we have a cost-of-living crisis and the highest inflation in over 30 years. But the federal Treasurer isn't worried. He's a really big thinker. Just ask him. He's written 6,000 words to prove it. He's very keen to let us know just how clever he is. He reads weighty books like Jared Diamond's Upheaval. He name-checks cool leftie economists like Mariana Mazzucato. He has fascinating conversations with the Canadian central banker, Mark Carney. He quotes Greek philosophers. Jim wants us to know that he's a big Labor thinker, because big Labor thinkers spend their summers writing essays for The Monthly. In case we didn't know that, he tells us. Kevin Rudd, he tells us, wrote one in February 2009 and Wayne Swan in March 2012.

You can pack a lot of excuses into 6,000 words. Jim has not one but five reasons why it's not his fault if the economy goes bad. There's war in Europe, whether China recovers from COVID, recessions in the northern hemisphere, when and how rate rises will bite, and future natural disasters. He's got big plans. He's going to reimagine and redesign markets. It's all great stuff, but just maybe we might be a bit more ready to believe him if he could first get on with the key bits of his day job: get the cost of living down, get energy costs down, get interest rates down and get inflation down.


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