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Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Page: 6073

Mr TURNBULL (2:01 PM) —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I refer to the fact that under the Rudd government Australia’s net public debt is expected to increase as a percentage of GDP by approximately 12 per cent, from negative four per cent in 2007-08 to eight per cent in 2010-11. Can the Prime Minister confirm that this dramatic increase in Australia’s debt as a percentage of GDP is greater than the rise projected by the IMF in 11 of the other 18 G20 member countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —I thank the honourable member for his question. What I would say in response to his question is that Australia’s net debt is lower than that of all the other major advanced economies. I would also say to the honourable member that on the question of net debt he has a responsibility to say to the parliament, to name, a figure that would be acceptable to him, because each time they are challenged with this opposite they go missing in action. Let us have some honesty in this debate. Those opposite know that they have embraced exactly the same debt and deficit strategy as the government, though seeking to pretend otherwise.