Senate debates

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Questions without Notice

Intergenerational Report: 2015

2:09 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

If we do not get our spending growth trajectory under control we will be lowering the living standards of future generations instead of improving them. If we do not get spending under control we will put upward pressure on taxes into the future; we would force future generations to accept deeper cuts in order to help fund our living standards today. But there is absolutely no alternative to the continued effort to get federal government spending here in Australia back on a sustainable foundation.

In Ireland, back in 2007, they had government debt as a share of GDP below 10 per cent. Now, a few short years later, it is above 90 per cent as a share of GDP. In Australia right now we have 15.2 per cent government net debt as a share of GDP, up from a 6 per cent positive net asset position only a few years ago. If we stay on a trajectory of more deficits and more debt it will damage our economy. That is not what we want. We want to strengthen the economy and create better opportunities for everyone to get ahead; that is our responsibility. (Time expired)


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