Senate debates

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Answers to Questions

3:09 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment) Share this | Hansard source

goes up eight per cent this year, eight per cent next year, eight per cent the year after that and six per cent in the final year. The seagull cannot do maths! In my home state, as is the case, of course, across the rest of the country, total Commonwealth funding for public hospitals and schools goes up 30 per cent over the four years of the forward estimates—up and up and up. Far from Labor's claims, Labor's lies of cuts, funding is going up for hospitals. Funding is going up for schools. As Senator Bushby rightly points out, not just in nominal terms but in real terms—real funding growth for hospitals and real funding growth for schools. That is because our government knows they are priority areas for expenditure. So we have made sure that we can continue to fund those increases whilst taking difficult decisions elsewhere across the budget to bring us back towards surplus.

Now 'surplus'—there is a word that I challenge any of those opposite to mention in this debate. I challenge those opposite to use the word 'surplus'. It seems as if the Labor Party has abandoned all sense of fiscal or economic responsibility. They have given up completely on the idea that we should drive the budget back to balance, back to surplus. The problem with it is that they are leaving a legacy of disaster for future generations. Their failure to accept responsibility for the debt they created under their watch, through their policies, creates a disaster which future generations will bear the burden of. We on this side are not willing to stand by and do nothing, like those opposite. We are getting on with implementing our budget. We have delivered a range of savings measures already, and we wish we could get all of them through this place. We are amazed at the fact that the Labor Party are blocking even $5 billion worth of savings measures that they themselves proposed when they were in government.

Senator Lines interjecting—

The seagull signed onto those savings measure when she was in government, yet now of course is voting with the Labor Party to oppose them. It is a remarkable turn of events.


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