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Thursday, 5 December 2013
Page: 1790

Budget


Ms LANDRY (Capricornia) (14:09): My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer outline how he is implementing the plan the government took to the election to fix the budget and the economy?


Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (14:10): It was a terrific plan that we went to the election with. Madam Speaker, you would be aware of it. It was a terrific plan that focused on building a stronger economy, on getting Labor's budget deficit under control, on putting in place a program to start to pay down Labor's debt, on removing regulation which is a handbrake on the Australian economy and a handbrake on so many businesses, and on giving Australians more control over their lives and not having Canberra second-guess every aspect of their being.

We put in place a policy program which focused on removing those handbrakes by getting rid of the carbon tax. Getting rid of the carbon tax is going to grow the Australian economy. It is going to help every household in Australia by $550 a year. The Labor Party said they were going to terminate the carbon tax but they are so determined to terminate the carbon tax that they have voted to keep it! That is the Labor Party. We should not be surprised about that because they were so appalled at the failure of the mining tax to raise any money that they want to keep it. The mining tax itself is a cost to the budget of over $13½ billion, but the Labor Party has decided that it wants to deepen the deficit and increase the debt that was the legacy of Labor. They want to do it in opposition was well as having done it in government. That is quite an achievement.

We had the courage to go to the election with $42 billion of savings. We were upfront with the Australian people. That is a courageous thing to do. In politics to go to an election with $42 billion worth of savings is not terribly popular but it is the right thing to do. Labor also went to the election with savings, like $2.3 billion on higher education cuts to pay for the Gonski education proposals. I am reminded of the statement by Craig Emerson, the former minister for education—he even had a great graph showing how the Labor Party was increasing expenditure on education despite the cuts. Labor is now so concerned about the cuts they announced that they are going to oppose their own cuts. The Labor Party is so determined to ensure that we keep their policy on Gonski that they are going to vote against the funding of it. That is Labor Party hypocrisy. The problem is that the Labor Party had no principles in government and it has no principles in opposition. It is only good at stabbing itself on the back and now it is very good at being a hypocrite.