Senate debates

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Questions without Notice


2:24 pm

Photo of Eric AbetzEric Abetz (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Edwards for his question and acknowledge his role as the chair of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee. At the last election both the coalition and Labor committed to getting the budget back under control. At that time, both sides of politics claimed to understand that if action was not taken the task would just get bigger and more difficult. Only last week the Governor of the Reserve Bank gave his view. He said that the economic situation is:

… not catastrophic today, but it is going to be a medium-term issue if we do not address it—


There is ample evidence around the world of countries which do not have this conversation until it is very late and then it is a very hard one to have …

The reason we need to get the budget back under control is that Labor left a legacy of debt and deficit. We are borrowing $1 billion per month just to pay the interest on the debt they racked up in their six years of government. By getting the budget under control, now, we can ensure a better future for tomorrow. Failing to take action today will result in less money in the future for roads, schools, universities and hospitals. That would be unfair.

I say to senators: if you do support jobs, if you do support schools and universities, hospitals and roads, then support our budget strategy. Look at the benefits of repealing the carbon tax: electricity prices are nine per cent lower than they otherwise would have been and gas prices are seven per cent lower. That is real help to families, manufacturing, small business and agriculture. The truth is that if we do not act now, if we let debt and deficit spiral out of control, then we will be saddling— (Time expired)


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