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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) good to talk to you about this

this morning. Thanks so much.

Thank you. The Finance Minister

has signalled a succession of

tight Budgets to restore financial strength in

Australia. Speak at the

National Press Club in Canberra, Lindsay Tanner said

there would be no loose purse

strings or pre-election give

aways. Let's get more on that

from the small business

Minister Craig Emerson. Good

morning. This election campaign

is going to be pretty dull if

you've got no money to fund

announcements. Really which

party is most committed to

governing I guess in the

national interest. I can draw a

parallel, back in 1987 when I

was around working in the Hawke

Government, very substantial

Government cuts were made, in

fact there was a May statement

in 1987 and we went to an

election on the back of that

and it involved very heavy

Budget cuts so there wasn't

really money to spend in that

election campaign and it was

about who was best positioned

and best able to manage the

economy and to govern in the

national interest in other

areas such as climate change

and the environment more

generally, small business and

the range of issues that are of

concern to the general public. So climate change will

be a continuing issue. We've

heard over and over how huge

the deficit will be over the

next seven years. Frontier

economics has found the amended

ETS will lead to bigger Budget

deficits. How can Australia

afford this? I wouldn't be backing Frontier economics in

the races on the weekend if I

were you, Joe. They've put up a

proposal Treasury tore apart

because their costings were so

badly flawed. In terms of the

Treasury costings, the

arrangements achieved with the

Coalition add only around

three-quarts of a billion

dollars to the Budget bottom

line over the entire period to

2020 so that's a very modest

extra imposton the Budget and

it's worth doing because this

is such a big change, if we

don't make it then the impact

on the Budget and Australian

economic growth more economic growth more generally

would be much, much more severe

than that. You've got concerns

about the Coalition's stance on

the ETS if it were to win the

next election? Well, I just

hope that the Coalition doesn't

pull a WorkChoices on the

Australian people. Yesterday

Tony Abbott said that if the

Coalition were to win the next

election then they would make

real changes, real changes to

the CPRS. Now that's a

revelation to us. He's revelation to us. He's probably

done that in a moment of candour. That's probably the

general expectation within the

leadership, that they would

change the CPRS. That's change the CPRS. That's what

Tony Abbott is saying. He's let

the cat out of the bag on that

one. The point I'm making with

WorkChoices is ahead of the

2004 election John Howard did

not utter or whisper the word WorkChoices or anything like

it. Now if the Coalition is

going to go to the next

election knowing that they're

going to fundamentally change

the CPRS they must tell the

Australian people and I think

that will be heart breaking that will be heart breaking to

the business community amongst

others because the business

commune wants certainty not a

reworking of the CPRS by the Coalition. If they're gonna Coalition. If they're gonna do

that, that's very disappointing

but they have an obligation to

be honest to the Australian

people about it and tell the

Australian people before the

election how they're going to

change it. The CPRS will be a

work in progress for several

years anyway. We've worked on

this CPRS for two years. We've

put an enormous amount of

effort and thought into it and

so we are presenting the

Australian people with the CPRS

as agreed by the as agreed by the Coalition. That's That's our position. That's what we're going to the

Australian people with but what

is the Coalition going to the

Australian people with on the

CPRS? One thing we know for

sure is that they are going to

substantially change it and

they now have an obligation to

the Australian people ahead of

the election to explain how

they're going to change it.

The targets are changeable as

well. We've heard this morning

that Barack Obama is likely to

commit to a 17%

commit to a 17% reduction in

greenhouse gas emissions by

2020. Will Australia - is

Australia now obliged to meet

tat target? Well, we have now,

at least now, bipartisan

support on the targets and that

was in fact the case before the agreement was reached on the

CPRS with Malcolm Turnbull and

they are conditional targets,

that is a 5% reduction by 20 20 if

if there is no effective binding international agreement

and reductions of up to 25% if

there were truly effective

binding international

agreements so we've already got

that flexibility built into the

system, into the targets, but

it's a very it's a very different

proposition, Joe, when the

Coalition is saying that they

could substantially or could substantially or even fundamentally change the design

of the CPRS if they win the

next election. They need to

tell the Australian people how

they would make those changes

and what it would mean for

them. We'll take a look at the

effects of the global financial

crisis on the Australian

workforce and the union

movement is particularly

concerned that there are two

classes of employed who are

developing - that are developing. The full developing. The full timeers

and the casual workforce that don't get paid holidays don't get paid holidays and get

the other benefits. They're

calling for a national inquiry,

saying it's an extremely disturbing trend. Will you

agree to a national inquiry on

this? Kalingisation in some

senses unfortunately is not a

new phenomenon in Australia.

It's been going on since It's been going on since the

1980s. For some people casual

work is what they prefer na.

Actually prefer it. For some

people it's what they've been

forced into because they can't get anything else. I was about forced into because they can't

to say that. For others, they

don't have a choice so they

have to take casual work or no

work at all. I'll add to this

though that during the global

financial crisis, Australian businesses, especially small

businesses and working people,

have shown the flexibility that

we were told would not be

available under our fair work

act, and have actually reduced

their hours of work in order to

keep in workyism think overall,

while that's not desirable ,

it's better than losing your

job so what I'm saying, Joe, is

casualisation has been going casualisation has been going on

for a very long period of time. There has been There has been a downward adjustment in working hours during the global financial

crisis. My view, for what it's

worth, is as we move through to

the recovery stage - and that

rising road won't be a smooth, sharply

rising road - then hours of

work will increase. That why

employers kept these people on,

because they valued them and

didn't want to lose them. They

will increase their hours over

time as we move through the

recovery phase. So no need for

an inquiry? I think we've

been around the mulberry bush on casualisation. It's impossible to legislate to say

that employers cannot engage

people on a casual basis. How

on earth could you possibly do

that when, as I say, one group

of employees actually want to

be engaged on a casual basis?

Let's concentrate on getting

the economic settings right,

which we've been doing from day

one, and getting people's hours

of work back up to where they

were and even beyond as we go

through this recovery

phase. Craig Emerson, thong and phase. Craig Emer

enjoy the last couple of days of parliament for this