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Thursday, 15 May 2014
Page: 3904


Mrs McNAMARA (Dobell) (14:01): My question is to the Prime Minister. How does the budget demonstrate that the government is delivering on its commitment in a fair and responsible way?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:02): I thank the member for Dobell for her question and for the way that she represents the decent, aspirational people of the Central Coast, who do understand that governments, like families and businesses, have to live within their means. This is why this country could not go on as it had under the Labor Party. This is why this government is refusing to put our nation's mortgage on the credit card, as the Labor Party had been doing for far too long.

Unaffordable payments with borrowed money necessarily have to be reined back. This is a tough budget. This is not a tough budget because this government wanted it to be tough; it is a tough budget because it needs to be tough to deal with Labor's debt and deficit disaster. The Treasurer has quite rightly described this as a 'contribute and build' budget. Everyone will contribute and will benefit from the stronger economy that this budget will create.

This budget is not about the political convenience of this government, it is about the long-term strength of the Australian economy. As I said, everyone will contribute. High-income earners will contribute through the deficit levy, members of parliament will contribute through the pay freeze and everyone will contribute through fuel excise indexation.

This is not just a budget for saving; this is a budget for building, a budget for nation building. There is the biggest infrastructure spend in the history of the Commonwealth. There is a world-leading medical research fund to give us the treatments and cures of the future and there are innovative trade support loans to ensure that the decent working people of this country get a good start in their working life. Back in 1996, an earlier coalition government brought in a budget that was tough but fair and would set up this country for a decade of prosperity, and this government's budget is a budget in that proud tradition.