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Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Page: 242

Mr ANTHONY SMITH (2:42 PM) —My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer point to a country where a stimulus package providing one-off payments to families and individuals has successfully created jobs?

Mr SWAN (Treasurer) —They are so out of touch that they do not know what country they are living in. I can point to the success of the Economic Security Strategy of last October in Australia. I can say to the honourable member that the overwhelming research work that has been done around the world by the expert bodies studying this matter over the years, most notably the International Monetary Fund, is absolutely unambiguous in its recommendation for our approach. Not only do people like Nobel laureate Paul Krugman share this opinion, and not only is there a large body of economic opinion in the United States and Britain; this opinion is also shared by many people in this country. A recent budget submission given to the government said:

Measures most likely to immediately impact demand are direct purchases of goods and services by government, and/or transfers directed to members of the community with a high propensity to spend.

Who would that have come from? Could that have come from the ACTU? It came from the Business Council of Australia. This is accepted wisdom. The only people who do not accept it are those opposite, who are so terminally out of touch they cannot see the urgency involved here and the need to support Australian jobs and Australian industry.