Thursday, 14 November 2013
Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013; In Committee
Don't you love it! The deal we are offering is an increase to $400 billion. They are not even prepared to say whether or not that is sufficient for the current financial year. They will not even tell Australians that. It is really quite extraordinary. There is nothing the minister has said today which indicates that the opposition's amendment is not a responsible path. If it were the case that the minister said, 'We will reach $400 billion in the next couple of weeks and we are prepared to provide that information to the Australian people,' that would not be an unreasonable proposition to consider, but they are not saying that. They are saying, 'We are not going tell you what we really need,' and, 'We are not going to tell you why we will not accept your deal—your proposition of $400 billion—for any reason other than to play politics.'
I think the minister's performance today really demonstrates why this amendment is a very responsible one, why it should be supported and why Mr Hockey and his colleagues should support it in the lower house when it is returned today. I want to make it very clear again to Mr Hockey that the government can have an increase to $400 billion—an increase of $100 billion—today. That would pass the Senate chamber. They can vote on this today, and, if they refuse to, it is on their head.
The CHAIRMAN: The question is that the amendment moved by Senator Wong to the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013 be agreed to.
Bill, as amended, agreed to.
Bill reported with an amendment; report adopted.