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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2802


Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (15:46): It is a great pleasure to speak on this matter of public importance on the subject of every Australian. On the debate we are having in parliament and the media today about cuts, I would like to make an analogy. Imagine there is a house where the gardens are neat and the lawns are mowed. It is neat and tidy inside. The furniture is all in good condition. All the bills are paid and up to date. Then a rogue tenant moves in and, over a period of six years, he has a series of wild parties. He invites all his mates around and he absolutely trashes the place. Finally, after six years, he is evicted. On the way out, he barricades the door and he sets fire to the place. Then this rogue tenant come arsonist walks across the road and sits on the other side in the gutter. As the fire brigade rolls up, he starts to heckle. As the fire brigade comes up and parks on the grass, he yells out, 'Don't park there! Look at the mess they're making on the grass.' The fire brigade have to knock down the door that has been barricaded. The rogue tenant sitting in the gutter on the other side yells out, 'Look at the damage they are doing to the door. Look at the mud that they are walking through on the carpet. Look at the water damage they are causing to the house.' That is an analogy of exactly what the Labor Party's governance did to this nation during their six years in government. For six years, the Labor Party trashed the governance of this country and trashed the budget, so every single cut should be hoisted back on the Labor Party.

Let me give you some facts and figures. During the period from the last coalition budget in 2007-08, a Costello-Howard budget, to the final Labor budget of 2013-14, there was no problem with income. Income actually increased during that period of six years by $68 billion. There was a 23 per cent increase in revenue flowing into the government because we had the mining boom and record commodity prices. We had record prices for our coal and our iron ore, so we had that 23 per cent increase. The problem was not on the revenue side; it was on the expenditure side. That is because the Labor government in that period of six years increased government spending by over 50 per cent. There was a 50 per cent increase in expenditure. We know where it went. It went into the billion dollar blow-out in border protection, the pink batts, the green loans, the $900 cheques to the dead and the set-top box program. I could go on and on. I would need several hours to list all the waste and reckless, politically motivated expenditure of Whitlam-esque proportions of the previous Labor government.

That resulted in turning what was money in our national accounts into a net debt of $245 billion. That comes at a cost. The cost is the interest that we now have to pay on that debt. This year it is a $13.5 billion cost to the budget. The fastest increasing expenditure that we as a government face is the interest on Labor's debt. It was previously zero; it is now $13.5 billion. That works out at $560 for every man, woman and child in this country. For the average household of four, that is $2,200. That is just the interest bill on Labor's debt. We have to work out where that money is going to come from.

We in this country have a choice. There are two things we can do. We can work together as a parliament to work out how we can bring our budget back into balance, because we are currently spending 10 per cent more than we collect in revenue. The members on the other side want to continue to borrow money and steal from future generations of Australians. That is their plan—to have the debt paid by our children and grandchildren. Shame on them. Shame on every single one of them for stealing from our children and grandchildren by running up debt through reckless and wasteful spending. They should admit the reason for the cuts is their reckless and wasteful spending, and we should work together to get this budget back into balance.