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Coalition renews call for end of stimulus spe -

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ELEANOR HALL: To Canberra now where the Opposition is using Reserve Bank optimism to bolster its
calls for the Government to turn off its stimulus spending and start working on reducing government
debt.

Coalition Leader Malcolm Turnbull is arguing that the Government has spent much more than it needed
to support the economy and that Australians will now have to suffer through years of government
debt.

But the Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says he has no intention of winding back the stimulus
packages, saying they've stopped the nation going into recession.

In Canberra, Samantha Hawley reports.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Treasurer Wayne Swan has no doubt the Government should keep spending.

WAYNE SWAN: Stimulus has been absolutely imperative to sustaining growth in the March quarter and
it would be a mistake if we were to withdraw that stimulus prematurely.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: But there are growing calls from opposition ranks for the Government to end its
$42 billion economic boost:

BARNABY JOYCE: All this money has to be paid back. It's not our money.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce is one who never supported the cash handouts
or other stimulus measures.

BARNABY JOYCE: How are we going to pay this money back? And when do we get it paid back? The
Australian people have got to understand that we're up to about $108 billion in debt from the
Federal Government. We've got about $230 billion of state debt. I haven't got a clue how we're
going to pay all that back.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: On the way into parliament this morning opposition MPs and Senators were united in
the view that the spending should end before the nation plunges into debt that can't be repaid.

Liberal front bencher, George Brandis.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well I think there's a growing fear among the public that the Government panicked
last year and earlier this year by spending much more than it needed to have done, directing that
spending into the wrong areas and now more than a generation of Australians will be left with a
mountain of debt.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

NICK XENOPHON: I think the question is now whether we need to keep spending. And my message to the
Government is, if the job's done stop the extra spending otherwise you'll end up overcooking the
goose in terms of the long term problems we'll have with debt and inflationary pressures down the
track.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Fears that the goose is being overcooked have come about after the Governor of the
Reserve Bank Glenn Stevens last week argued that the economic downturn is one of the shallower
recessions the nation's experienced.

Yesterday the Treasury Secretary Ken Henry warned of a possible second shockwave hitting Australia
but he also gave an optimistic assessment for recovery.

But Wayne Swan says the International Monetary Fund is warning of tough times ahead and the
stimulus measures, including infrastructure spending, will continue into next year. He says
anything else would be irresponsible.

WAYNE SWAN: Those who don't acknowledge the impact of stimulus, the impact of stimulus which has
kept this country from going into recession, then turn 'round and say it should be pulled out
prematurely, they have learnt nothing from the events of the past four or five months.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: But the Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull says the stimulus measures and the cash
handouts to the Australian people will end up working against them.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: I don't think they've been value for money, the reality is a great deal of them
were saved. The fact is we have had an enormous level of debt imposed on Australians and they will
pay for that with high taxes and higher interest rates that is a certainty.

And what do we have to show for it I ask you that, what do we have to show for it? They have
borrowed an enormous amount of money and we have very little to show for it except higher taxes and
higher interest rates. Thanks a lot, thank you.

ELEANOR HALL: The Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull ending that report from Samantha Hawley in
Canberra.