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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. in Federal Parliament It was a fascinating week had to cope with revelations as Treasurer Peter Costello about John Howard. of some candid off-the-record remarks of this latest leadership tension To analyse the impact

political debating team, I'm joined by our regular Arts Minister Senator George Brandis for Human Services Tanya Plibersek. and Labor's Shadow Minister Good morning to you both.

There is growing speculation of

another interest rate rise. The

situation will put economic situation will put

management back on the political

agenda. John Howard says he is the

one to hold the economy steady but

can the Prime Minister survive

another interest rate rise? I teres ;

Interest rates are set not by the

government but the Reserve Bank. An

independent authority. They have no

will put influence on what it does. This

will put economic management back

on the forefront of the agenda.

That is why it should always be. On

the forefront of the political

agenda. The government has a very

good story to tell. Interest rates

are relatively high for a period in

government. About the worst they

had been. The worst they were under

Labor was 17 %. Go figure which

party is more likely to keep rates

are lower. The Prime Minister says

he is the one to hold I cannot,

Maesteg

they can. Can waitress Kevin Rudd? But cause Can waitress Kevin Rudd? But

Labour agrees with the government.

George says the Government has G orge says the Government has

nothing to do it with interest

rates yet in the last election

campaign John Howard kept saying he

rates in he could was responsible for low interest

rates i ?he could

rates in he could be trusted that

lower rates. It is incredible that

the government is prepared to take

credit for low rate and the responsibility for high responsibility for high interest

rates. I have too often there is

quite fair.

When it comes to two the economic

travails we are experienced in at

the moment. It is important not to

make political mileage out of it.

I'm surprised that the Prime

Minister is out there trying to

make political mileage at what is

potentially a serious problem. Can

art responds to one point.

Governments do not set interest

rates. They are responsible for the

overall health of the economy. When overall health of the economy. When

the Prime Minister said at the last

election campaign that the

government could be relied to keep

under rates and lower than they would be

under Labor he was right. He said

low. They have been at five rises

since then. They is potentially a

six rise since the prime minister

said he would keep interest rate at

historic lows. People remember the

promise he made. It is a long time

ago. Some say the Costello

controversy is bad timing. Do you

believe Liberal MPs are entitled to

be angry at Peter Costello? This is

one of those stories they get

journalists excited. It doesn't

affect people. It doesn't affect

ordinary people in the ordinary people in the streets and

shopping centres of Australia. The

only hib e really need to only thing we really need

only thing we really need to know

about the Howlett Costello team is

that on any measure it has been the most successful and durable

leadership team in Australian

politics. 11 and a half years.

Working together day-by-day there

will be times when there will be

tensions in any relationship. The

relationship has endured, it is

strong. It is their relationship be

on skill and experience and

professionalism. This is more than

tension. It shows the Prime

Minister end up treasurer loathed

each other. Printing to character

of the character of the treasurer.

He was big talk around the dinner He was big talk around the dinner

table the when it came to

challenging of course he doesn't do challenging of course he doesn't do

it. The important thing is that he

is asked whether he said something,

he knows he said it and he lies a better on national television.

There is a shocking thing to say. I

have I know him a lot better than have I know him a lot better than

you do. He's an extremely honest

man. Has denied his version. Have we learned that the journalist

records are so accurate that they

mistook the date by more than three

months. There are three journalists

that say it happen this way and is

one treasurer who says it didn't.

Of all the people participating in Of all the people participating in

this conversation of the person who

knows Peter Costello best is me. He

is an honest bloke. For those three

journalists made up? They imagined

it? Their own recollection by their

own admission is faulty. They could

not get the month right. Peter

Costello is an honest bloke. This

is in issue that has no bearing on

the lives of ordinary people nor

should it. It is the sort of thing

that gets journalists

politicians excited in Parliament

has before an election but doesn't

matter. People do want to know

whether the Treasury is prepared to

minister bnd stand by what he says. Of prime

minister and the Treasury have for minister and the Treasury have for

more than a decade formed a durable

and successful political leadership.

They loathe each other. To think

the controversy brings into

question as to what is on the

record? I think the fate that

something is off the record it

difference should remain off the record. The

difference is there when challenged

about something that he said the

Treasury denied that he said it. If

you are presented as something that

you have set off the record he kept you have set off the record he

an round and fate that you have not

question. said it at all. It is a character

and controversies Ahead, a look at the key issues to sort out their top eight teams. as the NRL and AFL attempt