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Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Page: 1100


WYATT ROY (Longman) (14:39): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline how the government is building growth, jobs, and opportunity for all Australians?

An opposition member: That is not a question.

Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (14:40): That is a better question; it is a question about facts. The Abbott government is building growth, jobs and opportunity for all Australians—building growth. The growth rate we are running today is much higher than it was under Labor. The job rate we are running today—job creation out there is running at three times the speed that it was under Labor. And as for opportunity, we are opening up new markets—free trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China open up new opportunity for everyday Australians—

The SPEAKER: The member for Moreton, one more utterance and you are out.

Mr HOCKEY: We inherited a legacy of debt and deficit from Labor as far as the eye could see. Every single day the Australian government is spending $100 million more than it collects in revenue. And every single day we have to go and borrow that money. We do not get back to a surplus; we do not live within our means until we start to reduce our expenditure without imposing a raft of new taxes on the Australian people.

You have to deal with the facts as they stand—something that the member for McMahon does not understand. We know he does not understand his facts, and nothing illustrates it better than these words from 2010:

… the Government has returned the budget to surplus three years ahead of schedule and ahead of any other major economy…

He was claiming credit for a surplus that was never delivered. In fact in that year, the then government—

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon!

Mr HOCKEY: delivered the biggest deficit in Australia's history—a $54.5 billion deficit. Oops, oops! $54.5 billion out. How did that happen? That is bad Bowen. The good news from the Abbott government is: we have found a good Bowen—Phil Bowen, the Parliamentary Budget Officer. He is a good Bowen; he is a believable Bowen. He said in Senate estimates yesterday:

In relation to the current budget it is certainly necessary to get the deficit under control.

He also said:

This is not a situation that we can continue to live with over the longer term. … Increasing debt risks crowding out private sector investment and negatively impacting economic growth.

Good Bowen knows what he is talking about. He says you have to get the debt down; he says you have to get the deficit down; he says you have to create jobs; he says you have to create opportunity. That is a good Bowen; that is a Bowen that understands his facts; that is a Bowen that gets it right. Bad Bowen, unfortunately, leaves behind the Australian people, has no economic credibility and represents the very worst of the modern Labor Party.