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Opposition should stop talking down economy: -

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The Finance Minister and Acting Treasurer Penny Wong says Mr Robb should stop talking down the
Australian economy. She's told AM that the Government has already demonstrated it can manage the
economy through difficult times.

ASHLEY HALL: The Finance Minister and Acting Treasurer Penny Wong says Mr Robb should stop talking
down the Australian economy.

She's told Naomi Woodley that the Government has already demonstrated it can manage the economy
through difficult times.

PENNY WONG: Well, this Government has the runs on the board when it comes to protecting the economy
and protecting jobs.

NAOMI WOODLEY: But if there is another global downturn there isn't a surplus to draw upon for
another stimulus package this time. What's the Government's alternative?

PENNY WONG: Well, I would make this point. We are seeing a lot of volatility on global markets. It
is true the global economic recovery is fragile but I'd make this point - first that if Andrew Robb
and the Coalition cared about the Australian economy they wouldn't be trying to talk it down and
undermining confidence.

The fact is we are better placed than almost any other country in the world to ride out this
turbulence. We have very strong public finances. We have very low debt. We have low unemployment by
global standards and we are in the right part of the world, with a very large investment pipeline.

NAOMI WOODLEY: You say that the Opposition is talking down Australia's economy but isn't there an
element of also being realistic about the current world situation as it stands at the moment? We
heard Christine Lagarde last week describing it as a very dangerous time.

PENNY WONG: We are very realistic as the government. What is not realistic is a shadow finance
minister who has never got his costings right since he has held the portfolio - who had a $11
billion at the last election which has mushroomed to a $70 billion black hole - lecturing the
Australian people about the need for strong public finances.

What is realistic is to recognise that we have as a nation many strengths that enable us to face
this turbulent time.

ASHLEY HALL: The Finance Minister Penny Wong speaking to Naomi Woodley.