Senate debates

Thursday, 14 November 2013


Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013; In Committee

1:01 pm

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

We could do this all day, but we are going to be responsible, so I will not. I almost feel sorry for Senator Sinodinos, because he has been given a pretty impossible brief—go and sell a debt cap of half a trillion dollars without actually providing any information about it. Those answers demonstrate that. I am not actually entirely critical of Senator Sinodinos for wanting there to be the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook in order to provide information about the position of the budget. As finance minister, I did that too; I said we would update the numbers.

I am exceedingly critical of the government seeking a debt cap increase without being prepared to share that information with the parliament and the Australian people. As I said earlier, I think it exposes that this is all about politics and about Mr Hockey wanting to make a political point. It is not about good governance and it is not about transparency. I note the Assistant Treasurer has indicated to me that the $400 billion will be reached at some point in the forward estimates. Is he able to at least indicate whether or not it is anticipated that it will be reached in the current financial year?


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