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this is PM Agenda

Hello welcome to the program with just one day left in campaigning ahead of the US presidential election. We will be crossing to Washington on the program to get the latest with Speers series, the latest in the polls with this -- David Speers the latest in the poll in the race which remains too close to call. I will speak also to Michael Keenan my guest from Perth as the hunger strike condition continues on Nauru and the boats continue to arrive. Also today, well first of all we will cross to Laos and the Prime Minister el it is a news conference she is attending a Asia Europe summit and she spoke to the media a short time ago in the capital Vientianne.I find whenever I have these discussions media reporting put to one side, I find whenever I have discussions that they are productive ones. Europe knows that the rest of the world has been very focused and concerned on European measures to address the eurozone crisis. That wasn't just a by stander's interest, that was because the rest of the world understood that should matters in relation to the eurozone become even more problematic that it risks contagion into the global financial system and with we have seen that with the global financial crisis.Happily we are in a situation where Europe has taken a number of effective and important measures to address issues in the eurozone, and more broadly to address issues about fiscal integration, to address issues through the European central bank. To assist those nations that are seeking to recapitalise their banking systems. So a lot of good work has been done now as Europe turns its eyes to building on that good work. Of course it's the subject of discussion, at a meeting like an Asia Europe meeting.What issues will you be raising with the Burma President and how significant is this (INAUDIBLE). Almost 20 years?I think it is significant in the sense it's another way of recognising the progress that has been made in Myanmar, in Burma, in progress towards democracy.I think many Australians have followed issues in Burma closely, many Australians are very big admirers of Su-Chi and as we have seen change happened as it has happened we have welcomed that change and we have shifted Australian foreign policy settings to recognise that change.So, we have opened up for example economic and trade links, Minister Shorten was recently there, minister Carr has been there, I think this meeting is another recognition of that change.Now, more needs to happen. More needs to happen on questions like human rights for ethnic minorities so there is still more to do, but we should be welcoming the journey that is being undertaken in Myanmar.Will you be actively encouraging and changes the relationship with Burma or actively encouraging trade?We have already changed. We have already changed. We used to have a very comprehensive sanctions regime and we have moved to lift those sanctions. So that at every stage they have been appropriately addressed as Myanmar, as Burma has changed. And so you have had Minister Shorten in the last week or so leading a delegation there including Australian business people, our remaining sanctions are very limited indeed. Targeting as they do a limited number of members of the regime in terms of their personal ability to deal with Australia and we have still got some decisions to make on future defence cooperation.In that meeting will you mention the atrocities and will you make it clear Australia won't stand (INAUDIBLE) what will you be saying?I will say as I are said here we are continuing concern about human rights questions for its nick minority groups. -- ethnic minority groups.(INAUDIBLE). This suggestion that there be a more regular top level contact between Australian and Chinese leaders and to (INAUDIBLE) that Australia did not believe in a (INAUDIBLE). What do you think it is comments on that today?One of the things I wanted to do through delivering the auction in the Asian century white -- Australia in the Asian century white paper was to provoke what I hope is an all consuming national debate about our future in the region in which we live.So I welcome all of this commentary and dialogue. It's exactly the national debate that we should be having. On the Asian century white paper and its outlook or China, the white paper is very clear as the Government has consistently been clear, we welcome China's rise into the global rules base system. We have deep relationships with China at every level. We will continue to build on those deep relationships, and we do not support and we do not engage in a containment strategy. (INAUDIBLE)I don't comment on elections in other nations. Obviously, all of the talk is of the American election which is understandable. I know many people will be back at loam watching the coverage as it -- home watching the coverage as it comes through. Whoever is the President of the US we will continue to have a strong relationship with the US, we are the oldest of allies. We are the deepest of friends. That alliance, that friendship has survived the twists and turns of politics in both nations over decades and decades and decades. And it will endure for the future.Whatever the outcome of the election in America on, in and around the Melbourne Cup day. We call it Melbourne Cup day but the time change makes it slightly different. The Prime Minister very diplomatic ahead of the up coming presidential election and on that note, was on the same page as the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott when asked the same question a bit earlier here in Canberra. Coming up on the program we will cross to Washington talk to David Speers for the latest ahead of the presidential election. Also today my guest the lisht's Michael Keenan and Simon Banks and Grahame Morris guests. First the news headlines. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key says the release of the royal commission report into the Pike River mine disaster which killed 29 miners served as a wake-up call. It found the explosion was preventible and also the country's minister for Labor Kate Wilkinson has stepped down saying the tragedy happened on her watch.Families emerged from a two hour meeting where they heard more about the string of errors that led to the death of their loved ones.Something I was always worried about, whether to be as hard hitting as it could have not have been but man it's been hard and they have got into all the people concerned that I would like to see happen.The Pike River mine disaster happened under Kate Wilkinson's watch, today she resigned saying it's the right and honourable thing to do.It was a sad day that I accepted that, but I accept it's the honourable thing to it. I accept it was a peaceful decision and she's done the right thing.The royal commission found her department did not have the focus, capacity or strategies to ensure Pike is meeting legal responsibilities under health and saflt laws.The department had -- safety laws. The department assumed that Pike was complaining with the law.The sad reality with the department's performance in relation to the health and safety in the mining industry had been so poor both the strategic and operational levels the department had lost industry and working confidence. That is simply unacceptable.It found the gas methane was to blame for the explosion and the two days prior to the first blast on the 19th of November, 2010, there had been 48 warning that gas levels were reaching explosive or dangerous levels.But those were all ignored by management. Simply put its health and safety systems were inid adequate. Into -- There was no chance the rescue team could have entered the mine safe after the blast as they had no system for monitoring the atmosphere. They have put 16 recommendations on the table saying New Zealand needs to make urgent legislative and structural changes so future tragedies are avoided. The Government insists it is still on track to return the budget to surplus after independent analysis suggested another deficit is inevitable without further cuts.But Tony Abbott's policies have also come under scrutiny with claims they will cost business $4.5 billion a year. The Prime Minister's in Laos where world leaders are discussing the impact of Europe's crisis on Asia.It's trickling down to Australia, as well. And Wayne Swan's surplus is looking more and more shaky.Unless the Government does nor juggling there won't be a surplus, won't be one this year. We have a deficit of $4 billion, won't be one next year we have a deficit of $5 billion.The first three months of the mining tax returned no revenue and Deloitte Access Economics is forecasting a big hole in mining tax revenue for the full year. The Government has brushed aside the independent assessment, and is sticking with treasury's predictions.We stand by the forecasts, we are on track for a budget surplus.Treasury has also run a ruler over Coalition promises, estimating three of their tax policies will cost business $4.5 billion in the first year of an Abbott led government.A huge new impost on small businesses.That's exactly what Tony Abbott says the carbon tax is doing now to businesses like this one, he says the latest treasury analysis doesn't take his plan to scrap it into account.This analysis which is being misused by the government doesn't take into account the fact that the carbon tax is gone, the mining tax is gone, and there will be a modest company tax cut.If Martin park inson as secretary of the Treasury Department is allowing the government to play politics with information within the Treasury Department then that is a very serious issue.The Opposition is playing down the significance of another issue, the laterest Galaxy Poll which showed Malcolm Turnbull has more than twice the voter support of Tony Abbott.ErI think that Malcolm is doing a really good job as the shadow minister for communications.It's very bad news for Tony Abbott. Bad news only to a point, the poll also suggests the Coalition would win in a land slide. President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are engaged in a frenzied cross country blitz of the remaining toss-up states with both sides predicting victory in a race that remains too close to call.National opinion polls show the candidates have so close that only a statistically insignificant point or two separates the rivals.But the majority of polls in the battleground states show Obama with a slight advantage, giving him an easier path to the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. Tennis star Bernard Tomic has been found guilty of failing to stop his vehicle when directed by police. The 20-year-old had contested the charge telling the Southport Magistrates Court in Queensland he wasn't trying to evade police when stopped by an officer on the Gold Coast on Australia Day.He earlier pleaded guilty to three traffic charges stemming from two run-ins with police. Sydney police have confirmed that a 23-year-old man shot dead at a wedding early this morning was a member of the Comanchero Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.Two other men suffered shot wounds in the attack, one was also a member of the Commancheros.The three men why gunned down at the end of a wedding reception at 12:20 this morning in the Western Sydney suburb of Canley Vale. The Queensland town of lounge lounge is prepare -- Longreach is prepared to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall to Australia. They will land in Longreach this afternoon as part of the Queen's diamond jubilee tour. They are arriving from PNG where they attended a state dinner last night. Thousands of people have lined the streets of Melbourne this afternoon as the city gears up for the race that stops the nation.International horses Americain and Dunaden remain the favourites for the Melbourne Cup, but locals hope Myluckyday is set to give the race a shake.The Melbourne Cup carnival is reaching fever pitch with tens of thousands of people lining the streets of the Melbourne CBD for the traditional Melbourne Cup Parade. Trainers jockeys and connections and even past Melbourne Cup champions making their way down swanston Street to Federation Square where festivities are getting under way. This hours or so outside of the Melbourne Cup race. Now Americain and Dunaden the two French gallopers and past champions over the last two years remain the hot favourites with bookies but at this stage Myluckyday is the favourite of the local hopes and one of his trainers Wayne Hawks likes his chances.Seen as the Aussie favourite. No pressure.Not really but I will be more than happy to take the pressure up because number one I'm not running and number two Myluckyday is and he's perfect. But, number three I would love to give the Europeans around send them home packing.There was a splatter ing of rain over the Melbourne Cup Parade today, the news not good for tomorrow afternoon for forecast rain for race time. We will have to wait and see. Sky weather:

Back to Kieran Gilbert in Canberra as PM Agenda continues. Thanks very much opinion as James Bracey reported there, the notoriously tough race to pick tomorrow, also another tough race very difficult to pick at the moment is the presidential race we will have the latest with David Speers in just a moment.

This is PM Agenda. Thanks for your company. All the polls indicate the US presidential race remains too close to call. President Obama does seem to have the edge in the battleground states but those polls again are within the margin of error largely and simply too close to say it's a done thing. For the latest I spoke to the Sky News political editor David Speers who is in the US in Washington, and I got the latest from him a bit earlier. David Speers just a couple of days to go and all the polls indicating this is going to be a nail-biter --The final opinion polls coming in are still very close. At least at national popularity level. If anything we have seen a little bit of improvement for Barack Obama, just in the last couple of days.But outside the margin of error it's still statistically a dead heat between the two.But it's of course as you know not the national popularity vote that decides the presidency, it is very interesting and gives you a look at what's happening and what the mood is but it is what happens in the battleground states that count. To get to that magic number of 270 travel college votes in the presidential system here, each state indicates a summer number of electoral college votes depending on the size and once a candidate gets to 270 they win the White House. When you look what is happening in the key states there has been tightening but Obama is still in front in enough of these states to be considered the more likely to be re-elected. Now, there is still clearly ways that Romney can get there, but it's more difficult for him. He doesn't have as many parts to the White House. As does Barack Obama.So at this point, this dying hours of the campaign, the analysts here are generally of the view that Obama is more likely to be re-elected and certainly that's what the punters are saying as well when you look at the betting markets he is clearly the favourite over Mitt Romney.How have Barack Obama and Mitt Romney been focusing their efforts in the last couple of days? Well they are both on a frantic crisscross on as many battleground states as they can get to and all the battleground states. Bear in mind in the last six weeks neither of them have been campaigning in the biggest population centres, California, Texas, New York, these are safe states. What we would know as safe seats. They don't even bother going there. It's all in 10 battleground states all of the campaigning.Now, for Mitt Romney today, one of those was Ohio. This is considered probably the most important battleground state. If he doesn't win it, it is going to be very tough for him to get there. No Republican has won the White House without Ohio. So it's a crucial state for Mitt Romney. He was there today, and his message really returned to what we have heard many times through the campaign. A key theme for him the hope and change promised by Barack Obama hasn't been delivered. The improvement in the economy hasn't been delivered. And that end to the partisan divide, the end to the way Washington works, that hasn't happened either. Have a look.Four years ago, let's look at the promises that the President made. He promised to do so very much but frankly he fell so very short.He promised to be a post partisan President. But he's been most partisan, he's been divisive. Blaming attacking dividing.And by the way, it's not only Republicans that he refused to listen to, he also refused to listen to independent voices.He was going to focus on creating jobs. Instead he focused on Obama doctor care which killed jobs. He he said he will cut the deficit in half but he doubled it. He said unemployment will be at 5.2% and today, actually it was on Friday we learned it is 7.9%. Almost nine million jobs short of what he promised. There is no doubt it is difficult for Barack Obama to counter this argument that there hasn't been enough hope and change delivered over the last four years.The economy remains flat. Yes we have seen some better signs in the last couple of months but it's not where Obama would like it to be. Not where anyone would like it to be. The jobs, the unemployment rate still at 7.9% is too high. But he can point to that slight improvement, he can say we are on a path now that we need to continue with, and on this argument that there hasn't been enough bipartisanship shown from him as President, there is no doubt he's using the scenes we saw in the aftermath of her cane Sandy last weak to his advantage. The image of him and Chris Christi the New Jersey govr nor touring the devastated parts of New Jersey. Chris Christi being a strong critic of Barack Obama and strong ally of Mitt Romney the two of them virtually arm in arm was something o Obama is now obviously keen to remind voters of in his final stump speeches.You know for the past several days, all of us have been focused on the storms that have taken place along the east coast.And obviously Florida knows something about storms.The nation we mourn those who have been lost.And I have been up to New Jersey, I have been talking to the governors and mayors every single day and I want people to know that when I talk to them I'm talking on behalf of America and I have told them.That we will be with them every step of the way, until they have fully recovered from the hardships and the crisis. And we will do it together because that's how we do in the United States of America.What about the Congress, in many ways just as important as the presidential race. What's most likely to happen there? Well the polls on what's happening with the congressional races show that we are most likely to see the status quo returned. That will mean the Democrats holding the Senate, the Republicans holding the House. And in that situation whoever wins the White House is going to face the tough challenge that Obama's faced in getting things done and in particular the top priority for whoever wins the presidency is trying to avoid what is called the fiscal cliff. These are enforced spending cuts due to come in from the start of next year, that are likely to tip the US back into recession. No-one wants to see that happen but these have been designed by Congress to essentially force some fiscal discipline on the US budget. So to avoid that there needs to be some sort of deal in Congress and it's looking very tough if the same Congress is returned.David, you have been there for the last month, what are the main differences between how the election campaign is run there as opposed to Australia? Well there are many, many differences between how the political systems work and how the campaigns work as well. I have to say for me one of the biggest differences has been the lack of exposure from Obama and Romney to any hard hitting interviews.They don't do press conferences, they don't do sit down tough interviews all that often, in fact since the last debate a couple of weeks ago there haven't been any for Obama or Romney. They do television advertisements an the campaign rally speeches, stump speeches but they are not challenged in the final weeks of this campaign. That is quite extraordinary. The other thing I note is early voting has become very popular and is very much encouraged in most states, have seen a lot of it happen over the last couple of days as we get to election day. An extraordinary queues in Florida people waiting 6 or 7 hours. In ohigha and Colorado. -- Ohio and Colorado. People have to fill out enormous ballot papers to vote on the congressional races, presidency, local governmental races even on local judges and all sorts of things takes them a long time to go through this process. And in a country where you don't have to vote, it is pretty encouraging to see so many people do that. You wonder would as many Australians go to the trouble of waiting six hours and in a queue on a cold wintery day to cast their ballot if they didn't have to. I'm not too sure.I'm not too sure either but it will be a fascinating couple of days ahead. David Speers will be right across the US election for us as he has been over the last month and as this gets down to the business end of the campaign and the election day this Tuesday in the US. We will take a quick break. When we return, Michael Ke, nan will join us from Perth and the panel, Grahame Morris and Simon Banks.

This is agenda I'm back on air. In a moment we will cross live to Perth and talk to Michael Keenan the shadow minister for justice and border protection. Also Grahame Morris and Simon Banks with the politics of the day. First let's check in again with Jacinta Tynan in the Sky News centre. Thank you. A royal commission into the Pike River mine disaster which killed 29 workers found the mine's health and safety systems were inadequate and regovern ing mine safety was also lacking.New Zealand as Prime Minister John Key says his government will act quickly and implement all the recommendations. The country's minister for labour, Kate Wilkinson stepped down saying the tragedy happened on her watch. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Government has misused treasury analysis of Opposition policies to argue Australian businesses will face a massive bill under a Coalition government.According to Fairfax media the treasury examines three Coalition tax policies, and found businesses will be hit by more than $4.57 billion in the first year of operation. But Mr Abbott says the analysis didn't account for the fact a Coalition Government would scrap Labor's carbon and mining taxes. US President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are Victoria Crossing the swing -- are crisscrossing the swing states for the run to the White House. Analysts say this will be one of the closest presidential races in living memory. National opinion polls show the candidates are so close only a statistically insignificant point or two separates the rivals. Tennis star Bernard Tomic has been found guilty of failing to stop his vehicle when directed by police. The 20-year-old had contested the charge, telling the Southport Magistrates Court in Queensland he wasn't trying to evade police when stopped by an officer on the Gold Coast on Australia Day. He earlier pleaded guilty to three traffic charges stemming from two run-ins with police. In sport Victorian batsman Rob Quiney will make his test debut against South Africa on Friday, Shane Watson officially ruled out today with a calf injury. Tomorrow's weather: Thanks very much for that. We have seen the sixth boat in 72 hours as this boat problem for the Government continues. We will cross live now to Perth and the shadow minister for justice and border protection Michael Keenan is standing by. Thanks for your time. As I say six boats in three days. Tony Abbott says all the arrivals should be sent to Nauru and Manus for offshore processing but, how would the Coalition Government manage that? You would need an enormous capacity up to 20,000 possibly even more? Well, the first thing you need to do is stop the rate of arrivals. That is the absolutely heart of this problem and it always has been. It's an un sustainable rate of arrivals coming down at the moment. And once the Government changes we would obviously need to take the tough but necessary decisions to stop those boats from coming here in the first place.You couldn't manage this number of illegal arrivals so what you have to do is stop those boats from coming, and that's what we would tend to do from day one if we had the privilege of forming government.So these people who have been - arrived during that Labor Government would they all be sent for offshore processing because if that's the case you would have to boost the capacity and it would not only be I suppose difficult for Nauru to manage, and PNG but also to cost billions and billions and billions of dollars wouldn't it? I aClearly that would be very difficult to do and we can't make those judgments based on what the future rate of arrivals might be. Particularly considering every month we are seeing - every month we are seeing an increase in illegal boat arrivals. September was the worst month on record, October was even worse than that and November we have already had seven boat as arrive this month. It's very difficult for us to make these judgments based on what might be the rate of illegal arrivals next year and we need to make these decisions once we get into G and have a look at the lie of the land then.Potentially some of those or many people that have arrived here, aboard the boats, that Mr Abbott's calling for to be sent offshore now, would tail remain in Australia for -- actually remain in Australia for processing under a Coalition Government?As I said it is very difficult to make those judgments but we would from day one aim to stop those boats from coming. That's why we have a full suite of policies, including turning back the boats back around when it is safe to do so.It is a stopping of illegal boats and squashing of people smuggling that is the absolute heart of this problem and that's what we would aim to address as soon as we got into government.The minister Chris Bowen actually argues the numbers from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, they have actually stabilised, stabilised or reduced since the response to the Houston plan has been introduced by the government. And that it is Sri Lanka where the problem remains.Does it show that at least this is working in part and once they get the message through to Sri Lanka people smugglers this will actually potentially work? Look I saw those comments and I mean that is just completely in la la Land. The rate of illegal boat arrivals is increasing and has been increasing significantly since they made the announcement to process people offshore in Nauru. We have had over 6,000 people arrive since that announcement was made in August. So the rate of illegal arrivals is increasing under this government's failed policies. It's certainly not decreasing. Well, what he says is the message hasn't got through, so those in Sri Lanka at this point. And with 116 Sri Lankan asylum seekers having been returned home in I think since August, there is potential that that message might sink in and that this could work. Well, I would like to see it work but there is absolutely no evidence it is at the moment. I mean the boat we had today, 11 opeople arrived -- 11 opeople arrive ed -- 110 people arrived, Sri Lankan asylum seekers who normally arrive at cokus Island so the idea the government's policies is working is completely and utterly farcical. This is one area of policy you can't hide. It is very easy to see whether the policies are working by the rate of arrivals coming dour here courtesy of people smugglers, when you have the first five months, seven boats it shows you the Labor Party policies are not working.There are enormous contradiction s no doubt in the Labor Party policy over recent years and you won't get any argument on that but there are also contradictions in the Coalition policy aren't there. Particularly when you say you don't want asylum seekers to be sent to malaria for example but you are happy to have boat -- Malaysia for example but you are happy to have boats turned around back to Sri Lanka which again is not a signatory to the UN convention on refugees.I have heard this argument and I completely reject it.The idea of intercepting and returning a boat from where it came from is the same as taking people and returning them to a third country for processing.That they are both very separate things.Turning the boats back around, is a separate policy from resending people -- sending people to Sri Lanka. And I reject the comparison. What about the ongoing hunger strike in Nauru. It shows that sending people there is hardly going to be great in comparison to Malaysia which again as I say you don't want to adopt because of the human rights issues and we look at the hunger strike upwards of 100 people at least involved in that in Nauru. These asylum seekers pusheds to take that action -- pushed to take that action. Well, I don't think they have been pushed to take that action. The important thing is I think is when Labor Party said they will follow a particular course of action, once they have come under pressure to change policies they have buckled every time. And that's why people who are detained on Nauru think that they can put pressure on the Labor Party and get a result. And it's very important in this case at least that they have the resolve to stick to the policy course that they have set because we can't have a policy in Australia where self harming, or going on a hunger strike gets you a particular result because clearly that would sent a message to everyone in the detention network this is the way you get the Australian Government to act and we can't afford to have that happen.When I say pushed to take that action, I mean pushed by the circumstances to take that action. How is not the case? Well, Australia - we are following a course of policy that the Government has announced well in advance.Look I reject the idea that our policies are pushing people to do anything. We are trying to - well we are trying to as a parliament pursue policies that protect Australia's borders.Unfortunately the Labor Party are not doing it particularly well. But as I said what they cannot afford to do is buckle to this sort of pressure, because that's going to send a message that this is the way you get the result that you want. And that would be a terrible thing. I appreciate your time today. Thanks for that. Good to talk to you.With me on the program now, our panel from Barton Deakin Grahame Morris the former chief of staff to John Howard and Hawker Briton, former senior Labor adviser Simon Banks. First let's start on the Nauru question. Grahame, with Tony Abbott saying all the arrivals should go to Nauru, if he's successful at the next election this will be I nor mustask for the Coalition and enormous -- enormous task for the Coalition and capacity if every single one is going to be sent offshore.Maybe but remember we have to unwind some things here. For a while we have had a policy which said hey come to Australia however you like and we will cuddle you. Now overcoming that sort of sentiment is going to take a little while.The Government has finally seen the light, they should never have scrapped the Howard policy in the first place. But, look, there are many things at the moment, for example Sri Lankans coming here lots of them. They are walking - Sri Lanka is about two-thirds of the size of Tasmania. They are walking past our high commission getting on a boat, and coming to Australia.Now, why can't they join the queue properly like everybody else at our high commission and say look I have a problem can I come to your country? No they have decided and many of them are economic refugees not fair dinkum ones and they are coming here. Now, you know, a Government's job is to protect its bore boards and at the moment they are still -- borders and at the moment they are still open, although I do think that the current Immigration Minister at least is on the right track and is trying, even though some of his mates aren't really behind him.Simon Banks, six boats in three days.Michael Keenan makes a fair point if this policy is working it's doing a very good job of vindicating -- indicating it is not. This diabolical policy area remains as potent as area.It will be very difficult and no-one pretends it is not. Chris Bowen makes a point that the Government has been able to slow the flow of asylum seekers coming from the more traditional areas. Sri Lanka remains a problem area. As Grahame said I think what we are likely to find in relation to many of those Sri Lankans is they are much more likely to be economic refugees rather than genuine asylum seekers.And we are already start to see in that group as you quite rightly pointed out a number of those people giving up their claims and heading back to Sri Lanka. I think we will see a lot more of that in the immediate future. And I think that there are some signs there that whilst they are trying their hand at the moment that's going to and soon.Let's wait and see. It remains to be seen but certainly that's the Government's hope. The minister's hope. Let's look at the budget debate at the moment. Access Economics with its mid-year budget update says the Government's surplus is already essentially gone as far as it can tell. That there is a deficit of about $4 billion. The mining tax is - will only generate $500 million in the first year. Does this play into the Government's approach in the sense that it has been trying to play down expectations about a surplus?No, look I think the first thing I would say and whilst I think Access Economics is a pretty good firm, if you go back and look at their projection history, compared to the treasury the reality is the treasury actually has a better record of predicting the outcomes of budgets than Access Economics do. So, Access tend to underestimate revenue, overestimate expenses that's the history of their projections. So what's the most reliable form on this? The treasury. They are predicting we will end up with a surplus of a bit over $1 billion, the Government seems pretty confident. There is a number of measure there's they have proposed to try to achieve that outcome. It is really up to the Coalition now. Will they vote for the saving the Government is proposing or will they continue with the reckless negativity and stand in the way of a budget surplus.Treasury, let's go to Grahame Morris first of all on that. I want to ask you about that variables in the international economy.Treasury is saying that there is still likely to be a surplus, obviously we have the US election, the fiscal cliff later in the year in the US, the China leadership transition as well. Potential for another stimulus there in that country. All sorts of variables that might, might not happen. Tony Abbott's been adamant he will deliver a surplus in the first years of his government. This could come back to haupt him if things don't -- haunt him if things don't go well internationally.We will see. The Government is relying on treasury and the last figures for treasury are about $29 billion out. And we it seems to me we will have a who do you trust on financial figures. The Treasurer Penny Wong and the Prime Minister saying we will deliver a surplus, probably about 2 thousand times we have said that or Joe Hockey saying this government will never produce a surplus. And it just seems to me that they are saying, economic crisis, and what-not was five years ago. The global financial crisis. Crikey, Howard and Costello had all sorts of crisis but they still managed to deliver a surplus and give people back the money.You know, it is going to be tricky, getting things back into shame but at the moment you know the Government is promising all sorts of things and Blind Freddie can see that the policies they have got, the cuts they haven't made, are not going to deliver a surplus.Fairfax have been reporting today that treasury analysis of Coalition promises shows that it's going to cost the business community just three policies of the Coalition more than $4 billion in the first year alone. I want to play what Tony Abbott said to this and then we will come back for a response.I don't think that the Government should be misusing treasury analysis in this way.And this analysis which is being misused by the Government doesn't take into account the fact that the carbon tax is gone, the mining tax is gone and there will be a modest company tax cut. So the point Simon Banks is that treasury has essentially done selective analysis, and the Government's basically asked them to do it and not considered these other factors like the removal of taxes.No, no.That needs to be considered doesn't it PI read the 'Sydney Morning Herald' article this morning the Government was admitting there are swings and roundabouts in all of this. The paper didn't talk about the income tax cuts that individuals are getting, the increased family payments that people are getting as a result of the government's measures. This wasn't intended to be a wholistic exercise in that sense but it's a basic point and if you are a small-medium sized business what are you facing? If you are medium sized business and above a 1.5% increase in the company tax rate, a small business the loss of a $6500 instant asset write off, just gone. And, if you are other businesses you are actually able to claim back losses that you have incurred over the last couple of years because of the GFC is, in fact, still impacting on company tax receipts at the moment. These are three measures that would all have a pretty big impact on the business community in this country and if Tony Abbott doesn't want to be accountable for it and that's his choice. Every time he turns up at a bike shop, at a trust warehouse he never mentions to company these increased taxes he will boes on them.There are some -- impose on them.There are some policies that aren't entirely business friendly like the 1.5% levy to pay for the paid parental leave.I have known Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey for a long time. They are not vindictive people. But I am.And there is somebody in treasury who is playing political games here and I hope when the estimates come round next time that the treasury spokes people are asked who authorised this fraudulent document, who released it to the media, and whose signature is at the bottom of it. And let's just find out. Because...This never happened with the Coles government. Not with the Howard Government.When we did the charter of budget hon city the treasury was meant to have a look it hon city the Treasurer was meant to have a look at all the documents after they had been presented and the idea you would selectilly cost three poll I -- selectively cost three policies and forget the other is an slood bloody disgrace and I hope for -- an absolute bloody disgrace. I hope this say very career limiting move. Everyone in the Coalition will shake it off and forget this but if I was still there I wouldn't. I think this is a disgrace.You say the Liberal Party's first threat to the public service, don't don't bother telling them the cost of the Coalition's economic policies? They can do it when it's formally presented not when some Treasurer or some thug from the Labor Party misuses treasury in this fashion. It is a fraudulent use of treasury's time, and...It was never done by the Coalition in Government.The charter of budget hon city was meant to be...Answer the question.It was meant to be done at election time after the policies are formally presented not this sort of drivel.Let's move on. The Galaxy Poll Malcolm Turnbull well in front for the first time a majority of Coalition voters prefer Mr Turnbull. A minute or so I want to go to Simon Banks for a minute. We are running out of time.It's a popularity poll. I saw Hugh Jackman, Ricky Ponting, Dame Edna Everage would poll well too. They will not get a chance to lead. Both leaders I suspect will be there at the next election and it will be a real tussle. Kevin Rudd I think, probably should be the leader but is not going to be, and Malcolm Turnbull, I would actually give him an extra portfolio, something like productivity to get him out there in the main economic debate he's very good at it.Julia Gillard most don't believe her when she says she wasn't aware of this coup before credit card was axed. This -- Kevin Rudd was axed how damaging is that particularly in the context Coalition has effectively made her character an issue in our political discourse?The point is that to the extent that she was involved or not involved in events that occurred two years ago that's been factored in her upon polling since day one. So I don't think this question really makes a lot of difference because quite frankly I think as you saw the release with Maxine McKew's book last week, most voters actually don't really care to be honest. What they are more focused on is what are the parties going to for the future. What promises will they deliver to make life easier for Australian families and I think that's what the next election is going to be about.We will be back, stay with us on PM Agenda.

This is PM Agenda. With me our panel today. Grahame Morris and Simon Banks. Let's look to the US as the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall has arrived in Australia in Longreach and we have live pictures of that as we speak. In the US, you heard David Speers report it will be, looks so close to - very hard to call but would you expect President Obama will scrape home? Is that your sense?I think so. There will be 10 key battleground states which have 146 delegates to the convention up for grabs. Obama slightly ahead about and if you look across the 10 battleground states Obama is leading in the opinion poles in seven of the 10 and that's enough for him to win. Now, the opinion polls could be wrong, there could be always a bit of a slant. Two difficulties with the American system you don't just ask people who they will vote for you have to ask them whether they will vote in the first place. But, sitting here today, it looks like Obama will just get there.That's the challenge in the final days, there aren't that many undecided voters out there, it's getting thet out to vote which as Simon -- them out to vote but it is nos something our politicians have to worry about with pom kulspy voting here.-- compulsory there.They spend an absolute fortune getting their people to vote. Thank goodness we don't do that in this country but it seems to me the President will be re-elected Romney has come out of nowhere and the Republican team have run a good race but it seems to me if it went the other way this would mean President Obama is one of the biggest dills that the American presidency seat has ever had. Even you know, Jimmy Carter at least, had the Teheran problem, this bloke has had a - natural disaster and if he got beaten it would really would be quite odd.I think only one Democrat has won two terms in a row, since World War II, Clinton isn't it? There hasn't been another Democrat that's won back-to-back.The Democrats have won back-to-back but obviously for example President Kennedy was shot and so he didn't get a chance to go a second time around.That's right. Well, it will be an interested couple of days. Thanks very much former your thoughts and insight s as always. Tuesday is a big day for the presidential racers Melbourne Cup and we aren't inspecting a rate cut. Brook Courts is that the sense you are got?Glenn Stevens with a bit 6 a history here on moving on Melbourne Cup day, Glenn Stevens the RBA governor has actually moved on every Melbourne Cup day since 2006 when he was appointed so history says he will try and steal a bit of the limelight tomorrow. Actually a rate cut was a sure bet before the inflation numbers, seemed like a shore bet before the inflation numbers came out then we started to question whether the RBA had the room to move. We are thinking based on the fact the housing prices have starting to tick up and a retail sales read up 0.5% so suggesting signs of life in the hard hit area. The case for lower rates is there. We have trade deficit numbers out there which remind us on the pressure of the mining sector and a grim read on jobs. That's how chemists have described it. They -- chemists have described it. ANZ -- economists have described it. They were down, it continues a worrying trend. A services sector read, basically 75% of the economy the services sector that is deep in contraction for a ninth straight month a read remind ed of that today. We are expecting a rate cut tomorrow but they are all adding but it could be a line ball call it will be this month or next month but either way rates are headed lower.It is another thing to watch on Melbourne Cup day. Thank you for your company for PM Agenda. A busy show as always and I will see you again this time tomorrow. Live Captioning by Ai-Media