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Meet The Press -

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Hello and welcome to Meet the Press.

If anyone understood the exercise

of power, it was Paul Keating.

Since leaving parliament after

losing the Prime Ministership 15

years ago, he has shared his wit

and wisdom in many speeches, some

published in his just released book,

'After Words'. But even such a long

time practitioner of the dark arts

must have marvelled at the turn of

events at the end of the parliamentary year.

I must depart. I go placidly with

well. my humour intact. I wish you all

Labor installed Liberal renegade

Peter Slipper in the Speaker's

chair, shoring up its numbers and infuriating Tony Abbott.

One of the most squalid manoeuvres

- one of the most sordid political

fixes this Parliament has seen in

many a long year.

Victim or martyr, Harry Jenkins won

team. praise for taking a hit for the

A great speaker, a great Labor

Party man and a great friend to all

of us on this side of the parliament. Other great friends, the Independents, delivering the mining

tax and assured Julia still loves

them and needs them.

We are both going to support it.

I want the tax to go ahead. I don't

want to get in the way of the tax.

But have times changed? In 1999,

this was Paul Keating to Labor's

true believers.

There's a much higher bar for Labor

- we've always got to pass a bigger

test. They expect the others to be

not up to much.

Paul Keating is a guest. And as the

Government prepares to release what

many say will be a horror mini-

budget, Finance Minister Penny Wong

joins us. But first, Natasha Exelby

November 27. has what's making news this Sunday,

Good morning, Paul. And here are

the stories making headlines this morning.

New Zealand National Party Prime

Minister John Key has claimed

victory in the country's general

election, with 48% of the vote. He

will govern with the support of

minor parties. Labour scored 27% of

the vote.

The rain has passed for now, but

heavy flooding has left hundreds of

people in Northern NSW stranded.

Raging storm waters have claimed

the life of a three year old boy

who drowned after being swept into

a drain at Bingara.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has

issued a dire warning to Labor,

saying it risks becoming a minor

party and people have had a gutful

of what currently passes for political debate.

Treasurer Wayne Swan will have

business tax rorts in his sights

when a tough mid-year budget review

is released this week. The

Government is determined to lay the

groundwork for a return to surplus next year.

Thanks Natasha. And welcome back to

the program, Paul Keating. Good morning, Mr Keating.

The big talking point of the week

was the deal done with Peter

Slipper. Do think it was a

masterstroke for them to back him

as Speaker? I tend to think that

the nation has been betwixt and

between about were the Government

is a permanent fixture. In other

words, whether we have an operating

government. The Tony Abbott attack

has been that the Government is

illegitimate and it will not last.

This has to be bad for the country.

As has been pointed out by others,

when you go through the legislation,

there is a big record of

achievement there. I think this is

a ballpoint for stability.

Regardless of who said what to whom.

You don't think it was a grubby

deal? If the parliament is more

stable, if the Government has an

operating majority, these are only

three new parliament's anyway, the

idea that the play should be on

tenterhooks just waiting for Mr

added to declare that everything is

null and void and it was all about

him is no good for Australia -- Mr

Abbott. The Liberals have borrowed

from the Labor Mexico on and claim

that Mr Slipper is a Labor right.

Is that good thought Labor? Would

ever problems he has, if I were in

Government, I would take no notice

whatsoever of any claims they have

or shenanigans they may come out

with. It is just a double standard.

In your book there are to stand --

two speeches, when many were made a

life member of the Labor party and

the other at the centenary of the

party, praising Labor for its

history of reform, its traditions

and its values. Today, we have

another former Prime Minister

warning that the party is in danger

of becoming a minor party. He seems

to be more pessimistic than you had

been in the past. I do not think

Labor is slated to be a minor party,

but I do run the club of saying the

Ennahda always has a high bar. --

Labor party. The Liberals are a

party of convenience. Labor is a

party of conviction. When the

convictions drop, when the reason

for being dissipates all becomes

opaque, then of course, the people

prone to support Labor drift

elsewhere. So did they need to find

their way again? I think the

biggest issue is a great shift in

the world from west to east. More

regionally for us, the rise of

China. That is changing our

strategic situation, their economic

situation and changing their entire

economy. I use saying that Labor

has to meet the challenge? We have

to. We cannot go around saying, by

the way, we are borrowing the

Monarch of another country. We are

sharing power with 16 other

countries and we have the union

jack enough like. The place has to

grow up. Things like the Republic,

the basis of a decent

reconciliation. Not pretending that

we have this great continent which

is close to everybody. These are

the big issues which will get young

people moving. It will get people

supporting Labor. Going to one of

the things that is overhanging

everything at the moment, what is

happening in Europe. You have just

returned from a banking meeting in

Europe. Now banks are warning that

the contagion is spreading. Earlier

this year, you describe Germany's

leader, Angela Merkel, as:

This does not instil confidence.

Can she give the leadership that is

needed in Europe? At the moment,

they are sticking to the German

Orthodox. They were not cap the

yields on the bond sales of the

other nation states. When these

countries gave up the right to

issue their own currency and the

right to set their own interest

rates, they at captured and caught

inside the eurozone. Therefore, the argument is that the European

Central Bank should stand in the

market and when someone sells an

Italian bond down, which pushes the

yield up, the central bank should

buy the bond and forced the yield

back the other way. The Germans are

saying no, we are not supporting

all those ill-disciplined, southern

Mediterranean states and so the

whole thing is going to hell in a

hand basket. Is it going to get

their vote or duping something can

save the day -- do you think

something can save the day? Angela

Merkel is saying we need more

Europe. That is code for a fiscal

union. It is like having Italian

Social Security payments decided in

Brussels. People will not do this.

Yes, they are entitled to some

fiscal quarter nation, but unless

the ECB buys the bonds of the

States, I mean what we have is a

bond run. In a bank run, people

take their money out because they

think it is going to fail. A

question is, are we heading in that

direction or is there a way that it

can be restrained? This is the

worst crisis of my lifetime. The

big question also is can the US

provide leadership? This is how you

describe Barack Obama:

It is a fairly brittle character

assessment. You get elected to

these jobs to make the changes. The

American presidency, you win it

once and you're king of the world.

You only have to win it twice.

Would she be so safe in the first

four years to just give you a

better chance of winning the

second? I think it is a wrong

strategy for him. American working

people have had no increase in real

wages since 1990. He, we have had

36%. American workers cannot of for

the mortgages. Is he a

disappointment? For the Democratic

Party, apart from his health

changes - he has returned to

liberalism, which I applaud. He has

a new deal with Russia, which is a

tick for me. But at the core, he

has not taking the Republicans on

philosophically.! For being the

does today. When the return,

finance minister Penny Wong looks

ahead to the media economic Review.

And nosedive of the week goes to

former Speaker Harry Jenkins. Order,

order. The attendance will take

action to remove people from the

gallery. Democracy is dead. To your

cheese and geishas, that is the Mrs. -- kisses.

I must depart. Our's. --

(APPLUASE).Thanks for being with us

You look so, so happy. Thanks, Dad. Well, it's all we've ever wished for. I know.

Actually, there is one other wish me and your mum have. We'd like you to start your family with one less worry. Here. This - it's all yours now. Not the bank's. (GASPS) (CHUCKLES TEARFULLY) Dad, thank you.

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You're on Meet The Press. Later

this week the government will

release, MYEFO, the mid-financial

year review. Tony Abbott says it

will be a panicked mini budget.

Wayne Swan sees it differently.

What you will see from this

government, and what you will

continue to see, is very strict

fiscal discipline. We will bring

our budget back into surplus in

2012-13, and we will give an update

of our budget in the normal way

through the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

And it's welcome back to the

program Finance Minister Penny Wong,

Good morning minister. Good morning.

And joining us on the panel,

Michelle Grattan, The Age and

Marius Benson, ABC News Radio, Good

morning Michelle and Marius. Coming

up - Julia Gillard expects nuclear fission at Week's Labor

It's shaping as a slug fest.

Senator Wallner, will the

Government show that it is clearly

on the road to achieving its

promise of being back in surplus

next financial year? The media

review, which will be released this

week, that will be one where we

chart the right course. And we are

driven by the same things that

drove ours in the context of the

global financial crisis. How do we

keep the economy strong and support

jobs? We must just the right course,

that recognises the global

uncertainty, the weaknesses in the

global economy. But at the same

time, the continued strength in a

Mining Investment. Our judgement is

that what we need to do is continue

to return the Budget to surplus.

Equally, we need to also recognise

that it would be counter-productive

to take an axe to the Budget in

light of global uncertainty. We

need to chart the right course in

the context of that data. Does that

mean that it will show that we are

on track to surplus in the next

financial year? We remain

determined to bring the Budget back

to surplus as we have outlined. But

there is no doubt, the current

global economy has made it harder.

What has that done for revenue? It

is a very good question. You should

anticipate seeing that there will

be a reduction in revenue. You

should anticipate seeing the sort

of pattern that we saw in the

context of the global financial

crisis. Where we still, in the five

years to 2012 and 2013, have seen

about $100 billion worth of

reduction in revenue as a result of

the global financial crisis. That

is one of the ways in which the

current circumstances make it

harder. But we want to do what is

right for the economy and we

believe that is bringing the budget

back to surplus. You mentioned the

global financial crisis a few times

there. We just said Christ -- Paul

Keating saying that the crisis in

Europe at the moment is the worst

crisis of his lifetime. Would you

have the same reading? I certainly

think that the European

circumstances have worsened in the

last period. We saw for example, a

German bond auction in which demand

was less than anticipated. That is

not a good sign. What we continue

to say to the European I think that

markets are making a very clear

judgement about Europe's failure to

do what it said it would do. Do you

read it as severely as Paul Keating

does? His is worse than DGSE of

just a couple of years ago? I think

that the global financial crisis

was an extraordinarily difficult

economic time and difficult thing

for the global economy. There are

things the Europeans can do to

resolve this. They need to do that.

Because it is affecting not just

then, but it has the potential to

affect not just our economy, but

other economies around the world.

We have to continue to show the

Budget is a plan that we have shown

to date. We have made about $100

billion worth of savings in our

last four budgets. And there are no

easy saves left to take. You should

anticipate, in response to the

earlier question, some difficult

decisions in the media budget

update in the coming week. Gliders

take you back to your point about

the reduction in revenue. What the

meaning exactly here, and a

reduction on what, the forward s

demands on the previous year, and

can you give us in the idea of

magnitude? I think in terms of

magnitude, I will leave that to the

numbers that we will release this

week. But I think it is reasonably

self-evident, if you have got for

example, the share market is some

15% down since the May Budget. As a

matter of logic, that will float

through for example, to capital-

gains tax. We are in a situation

where our economy is being affected.

Our budget is being affected, by

the international circumstances. It

is very important that the

government continues to show

discipline and makes the right

calls as we just a course through

what is a complex and challenging

economic environment. You say there

are no easy saves are available but

the savings will be made. Who will

feel the pain? There are specific

reports this morning that you are

targeting executives and foreign

workers who are understating their

income as for tax purposes? There

is always a lot of speculation

ahead of a budget update and I will

not get into detail but I will say

that was a particular measure that

was raised in the context of being

problematic. Obviously, those

issues Irish is that the government

is having a very close look out.

One Egging people will not be left

behind, according to the Treasurer,

is that still the case? We are a

Labor government. Whether his hand

-- how we handle the budget or the

global financial crisis, or putting

forward the minerals tax, where it

is about insuring more super and

Eurasian for working people. --

superannuation. Our values to

underpin our economic decisions.

Coming up - and Julia Gillard

expects in nuclear fission at this

week's National Labor conference

which is shaping as a slugfest. And

cartoonist Alan Moir in the Sydney

Morning Herald sees Peter Slipper

as an exploding novelty cigar.

Julia Gillard more than willing to

gift it to Tony Abbott and ignite it. Merry Christmas.

You're on Meet the Press. On Friday,

Labor delegates meet in Sydney for

the National Conference. Julia

Gillard has put uranium for India

on the agenda and she's conceded

there's a strong push for same sex

marriage but with this rider.

Clearly in this Parliament, private

members have the ability, private

members have always had the ability

to bring bills to the Parliament,

and that continues in this

parliament but the Government will

not bring a legislative proposal to

change the Marriage Act to this

Parliament. Senator, you want to

see a binding vote by the Labor

conference in forced on MPs to back

same-sex marriage. The numbers are

not there at the conference to do

that and Julia Gillard has made it

clear that if anything gets to

Parliament, the government will not

wear it, you're wasting your time.

We're going to have an interesting

National Conference and this will

be one of the issues that would

take a lot of the attention of

delegates, I suspect. I have made

my position clear. I don't propose

to add to it today. I certainly

will be having more to say at

national conference. There are two

issues to be dealt with by the

conference. The first is whether or

not there is a conscience vote and

the second is whether or not there

is a change to the platform. Both

of those issues, I suspect will be

the subject of a lot of discussion

and no doubt, some debate within

the party. Senator, what about the

Iranian issue which is equally

contentious. Will you stick with

the left position off opposing

uranium sales to India? Uranium has

been contested issue inside our

party for a very long time. As a

South Australian, I am particularly

aware of that because we have had a

range of different used as a state

pride on this issue. What I would

say is that I think there is a lot

of merit in the Prime Minister's

position. I think there are issues

of Non-Proliferation that are

clearly Baree is strongly felt by

members of the party. And that will

be debated at conference. Kenny

ride has issued a critique of the

party, saying that the party --

public has had a gut full and Labor

must reform or become a minor party.

Do you take a warning light as

seriously? In terms of the

political debate, I think that

people are a little bit tired of

the political debate with an

opposition leader relies completely

negative and refuses to be upfront

about anything whatsoever, other

than he wants to say no. An

opposition leader and as to make

$70 billion worth of savings and

cuts to things like health, education, social security and

defence, in order to make his

Budget add up. People are sick of

that. In terms of the Labor Party,

we have caused need to do more as a

party to engage members and bring

people into the party and engage

our membership more fully and there

are a number of different views

about how to do that but I think

that people are consistent in the

importance of their day engaging

with Labor Party membership. If I

could turn to the issue of the

moment, can you really say hand on

heart, that Peter Slipper was the

best man for the job of Speaker?

Peter Slipper was the Deputy

Speaker. I assume as Deputy Speaker,

I am obviously a senator, not a

House of Representatives member, he

has the qualifications to be the

speaker. The context of the Peter

Slipper is this. He was pre-

selected eight or nine times by

Tony Abbott and his colleagues. He

was the subject of Tony Abbott

saying that he was satisfied, for

example, that Mr Slipper was a good

man, he backed him in terms of his

entitlements and a range of other

issues. We have had a change of

Spica on the floor of the House of

Representatives, in accordance with

the rules there. A majority of the

Parliament supported him. And if Mr

Abbott has an issue with that,

maybe he ought to look at his own

internals. He's Mr Slipper

currently still being investigated

by your department and if so, when

will that finish? I do not

understand that there is a current

order to under way. I understand

that there has been a petition

seeking an audience that is being

tabled. And the relevant minister,

who is the special Minister of

State, Gary Gray, will make a

decision after he receives a

recommendation from the department.

Do you think that the change of

Speakership, the change of numbers

in the House of Representatives,

gives Labor a better chance of

regrouping and even winning the

next election? What I think it does

enable us to do is to continue to

prosecute the legislative agenda

for some of the key reforms that we

do need to get through the

parliament. That is obviously an

important thing and that is what we

will continue to do. It should be

recalled that the Speaker, there is

Baker would not matter if Tony

Abbott had not broken his agreement,

the agreement that was struck with

Mr Ohrid shot and others, about an

independent Speaker, a better

Parliament, an agreement that both

Tony Abbott and Mr Pine Walk away

from after the Labor Party formed a

government. I think that is an

important factor. Thanks for being

with us Penny Wong. Thanks to our

panel, Michelle Grattan and Marius

Benson. A transcript and a replay

of the program will be on our

website and on our Facebook page.

And your next week, goodbye.