Senate debates

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Questions without Notice

Economy

2:23 pm

Photo of Stephen ConroyStephen Conroy (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

The fact that you continue to not understand that inflation is impacted on by world growth and by domestic growth just demonstrates you continue to be completely illiterate on these issues. As I said, Australia is not immune from these global difficulties and it will inevitably impact on growth in Australia, and it will impact on government revenues. I am not going to speculate on those outcomes today. We will be providing a full update on the fiscal position in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

The budget recognised the impacts of the global difficulties and that is why we took tough decisions in the budget to build a strong surplus to act as a buffer against global turmoil, to give us the flexibility to respond. If you want to know what is going to impact on inflation, if you want to know what is going to impact on interest rates, it is the budget surplus. Your refusal to pass the budget measures in this chamber is more of a danger for inflation and interest rates than many other things. What you have to do is decide whether you are going to stick with the fairies at the bottom of the garden, in an economic sense, and continue to play politics or whether you are going to get behind the package—

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