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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 13962

Economy


Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (15:08): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline for the House the importance of investing in our economy and our society? Will he update the House on how the government is doing exactly that?


Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (15:08): I thank the member for Throsby for that very important question, because I think all members have seen a very clear contrast today. The government is focused on the future—making the essential investments to build a resilient economy but also making sure that we take everybody with us to make sure that everybody has a stake in our prosperity. That is why everybody on this side of the House is so proud of what we are doing with the National Disability Insurance Scheme. But it is not just that. We understand the importance of building a more resilient economy. We understand the importance of investing in education. We understand the importance of paid parental leave. We understand the importance of health reform.

We understand all those things, but here today is a really stark contrast with the opposition, which just stands for fear and smear. We have seen it on display right through this week. We have not had a single question from the opposition on the economy this week—not one. We understand the very big challenges for the future, so when we go to the people later next year there will be a very clear contrast. There will be those on that side of the House, who are led by a thug who knows nothing else but smear, and the people on this side of the House—

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will withdraw.

Mr SWAN: I do withdraw. They will be led by an opposition leader who, when it comes to policy, is simply a weakling. There are no plans for the future. The reason we can put in place important social reforms for the future is that we have a resilient economy. You can see that in terms of the capital expenditure figures that are out today. Total capital expenditure is expected to be a staggering $173 billion this financial year, up from $155 billion in 2011-12.

You would never know that if you listened to the opposition. They are constantly at war with the facts. Whether you are talking about the issues that were raised in this House earlier today, whether you are talking about investment figures, whether you are talking about the level of the dollar or whether you are talking about a surplus, they are constantly at war with the facts. That is why the Leader of the Opposition is simply unfit to run a $1.5 trillion economy, and that has been on display not only to members of this parliament today but to all of the Australian people.