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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2775


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:29): My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has today promised that the budget will be in broad balance within five years. The last budget cut the rate of pension increase, it imposed a new GP tax and hit students with $100,000 degrees. Will the Prime Minister confirm that the same cuts and chaos of the last budget will be front and centre in the next budget? Or put simply, Prime Minister, are these ideas in or out?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:29): I might respectfully say to the Leader of the Opposition: what would you do? The last time the Labor Party delivered a surplus—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There will be silence on my left, including the member for Corio!

Mr ABBOTT: Wyatt Roy was not even born! The member for Longman was not even alive the last time the Labor Party delivered a surplus. I know they do not like looking at the expert document, produced by the Treasury. But here it is.

The SPEAKER: We will not have any props on either side.

Mr ABBOTT: Madam Speaker, I am reading from the 2015 Intergenerational report

The SPEAKER: We will have no props from either side, including from the Prime Minister and the member for Sydney! The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr ABBOTT: Labor's policy—

The SPEAKER: I said that we will not have props.

Mr ABBOTT: taking us to Greece—

Mr Burke: Madam Speaker—

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat.

Mr ABBOTT: Madam Speaker, I am reading from a document.

The SPEAKER: I said that we will not have props from either side.

Mr ABBOTT: Madam Speaker, my eyesight means that I have got to hold it up. I need long arms, Madam Speaker, in order to be able to see it.

The SPEAKER: Well, I can always lend him a pair of glasses.

Mr ABBOTT: Okay, Madam Speaker, is that better? Here we have the Intergenerational report. It shows the Greek levels of debt and deficit to which the old ouzo economics specialists over there were taking us.

Ms Ryan interjecting

Ms O'Neil interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Lalor will desist, as will the member for Hotham!

Mr ABBOTT: The ouzo economics specialists were taking us to 120 per cent, with respect to the ratio of debt to GDP. They were taking us to 12 per cent of GDP deficits every year. We have halved Labor's debt and deficit going forward. That is what we have done.

Ms Owens interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Parramatta is warned!

Mr ABBOTT: The job is not fully done, but the job has been half done and that is not a bad foundation. That is a very, very good foundation on which to build in this budget. At least we are serious. Members opposite talked about delivering a surplus. They never, ever delivered one. Who could forget the immortal words with which the member for Lilley argued in the 2012 budget speech: 'The four years of surplus that I announce tonight'! I tell you what: not even the Greeks would have that kind of hide! We have made a very good start to the job of budget repair. The budget was absolutely out of control under members opposite. It is now in a manageable state. (Time expired)