Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 940

Pensions and Benefits

Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (14:58): My question is to the Treasurer. Now that the minor parties have joined with Labor to oppose the government's latest unfair cuts, will the Treasurer take his cuts to families, pensioners, carers and new mums out of the parliament and out of the budget? Why does the Treasurer continue Joe Hockey's practice of artificially propping up his budget with measures that will not pass the parliament?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:58): At the last election, the coalition government took to the people of Australia our plan, which would take the budget back into balance by 2021, and included in that plan, which we had set out for some years and put before the Australian people, were all of the measures that are included in that omnibus bill. We went clearly and fairly to the Australian people on that, as we did on other issues, such as company tax to ensure that small and, ultimately, large businesses as well could ensure that they could invest for the future and create jobs. That is what we did.

In the time since the last election—after we won that election and those opposite were rejected at the ballot box for their approach—we have been successful in some $22 billion in measures that they would have seen junked and they would have seen converted into higher taxes on Australian families and higher taxes on Australian business. We pursued it and we said that we are going to continue to pursue budget repair that ensures that the current generation who receive benefits can also be the ones who pay for those, ensuring that our expenditure is affordable.

The option put forward by those opposite is intergenerational theft. What they are saying is they want to keep expenditure higher and they want to send the bill to their children. So the debt that you raise that has to be paid back in higher taxes in the future, has got to be raised to pay for benefits that are unaffordable now and that are being consumed now. Those opposite are like those who put a thumping big holiday on the family mortgage; they enjoy it at the time but they have to pay it off for years and years afterwards.

On this side of the House, we think that the generation that is incurring this expenditure has to be the generation that pays for that expenditure. We think that expenditure should be more affordable. We think that expenditure should be more sustainable. Those opposite just want to keep on spending and spending and send the bill to our children and they want to send the bill to those currently who have to pay more and more in higher interest payments, because this mob on that side have no idea about how to control their spending. They only have three buttons they push—higher spending, higher debt, higher taxes. That is not the policy of this side of the House; that is the policy of those who sit opposite.