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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3263


Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (14:07): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to the fact that peak gross debt is not revealed in the budget papers and I remind him that the debt ceiling has been increased by Labor from zero to $75 billion, then $200 billion, then $250 billion and then $300 billion. Will the Treasurer tell the House, and the Australian people, what level peak gross debt will reach over the forward estimates?

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:08): What we have here from the shadow Treasurer is the fiscal fearmongering campaign writ large. What we have here is a situation where net debt peaks at 11.4 per cent in 2014—a very modest level of debt, particularly compared to other developed economies.

I have been asked by the shadow Treasurer about the debt cap. Well, the answer to that is it is not necessary to do anything about the debt cap at all but we will review it in the usual way and, if it were necessary, we would lift it.

Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (14:08): I ask a supplementary question of the Treasurer. I did not ask him about net debt. What is the peak of gross debt under the forward estimates as a result of his budget and subject to the debt ceiling?

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:09): What I do know is that as public—

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order!

Mr SWAN: What we have here from the opposition is that they want to quote the market value of the debt, not the face value of the debt. All of the material is contained in the budget papers.