Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News 24 Afternoon Live -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) expense, when reality is, it is not about the constitutional issues. What this is about is that Tony Abbott and George Brandis do not want to recognise marriage equality and the Labor Party's to go down the line of getting rid of discrimination because Joe de Bruijn still pulls all the strings in back rooms. That's gotta stop. We have to respect the fact that is a country where where we want to end discrimination and we want to respect everyone
equally.The Labor Party would have a conscience vote on these matters? Yes, they will have a conscience vote but really this is a matter of ghaings and we final
should be getting rid of it.A final issue, we might just Hockey
leave it there, because Joe Hockey is walking in. We'll cross now to the blue room Parliament House, the Treasurer Joe Hockey and the Finance Minister Mathias Cormann announcing the reference for a commission of audit. Thank you very much for coming along today. Cabinet has made two decisions which I'm particularly wanting announce today. The first involves increasing the debt limit for the issuance of securities. The
Commonwealth Government securities. The second is the commission of audit. Firstly I announce today that the coalition government will have to increase the debt limit for Commonwealth securities to $500 billion. We are increase ing it to that level because I've been that on 12 December, the current debt limit of $300 billion will be hit. We need to particularly in
move quickly to deal with this what's
particularly in the wake of what's been revealed in the This is is
United States in recent times. This is is a significant issue. doubt
We need to put it beyond any doubt and we do not want to have to revisit this issue again. The fact of the matter is that peak debt in the pre-election fiscal outlook was expected to be $370 billion. We've been advised it will now exceed $400 billion on current trends. Given that, we have to ensure that there is a buffer of 40 to $630 billion to provide stability issuer, the AOFM. We are - we have decided to go to $500 billion this is the legacy of bad Labor government and this is part of the job that we have to fix. There is a difference between the debt limit and the debt. And we need to address the increasing debt of the Commonwealth government. So today we are announcing a commission of audit with very broad terms of reference that is going to focus on delivering to myself, the Minister for Finance and the Prime a comprehensive report in two phases. Which the minister will talk about in one moment. The commission of audit is to be headed by Mr Tony Shepherd. President of the Business Council of Australia. It have a number of numbers, Dr Peter Boxall former secretary of the department of finance, Mr Tony Cole, former secretary of the Treasury, Mr Robert Fisher, who has been involved directly in the delivery of services at a State level and former senator Amanda Vanstone, who has been a minister in Social Services and also has extensive experience in this headed
area. The secretariat will be headed up by Mr Peter Chrome. The commission itself will be be based
base fld department of - will be based in Department of regular
Finance. We will have very regular engagement with the commission during the course of its work. We are releasing the terms of reference together with the announcement about the commission. I will ask my colleague Mathias Cormann to say a few words.Thank you, Treasurer. What is very to us is a budget in very bad shape. The economic
numbers in the pre-election economic and fiscal outlook even more
were bad enough. But what is have
even more concerning is that we have inherited from budget which continues promised
deteriorate. We went from a promised surplus to an $18 billion deficit to a $30 billion deficit and still growing. Gross debt is growing to $400 billion and beyond as indicated. Annual
the Treasurer has just indicated. Annual government spending under Labor increased by more than $120 billion over the six years from 2007-08 to 2013-14. In real terms, Gillard
spending under the Rudd and Gillard Governments increased by more than 25% or an annual average of more than 4%. Irrespective of Labor's so-called fiscal

so-called fiscal targets. have do get spending growth under control. The government has to be able to live within its means on a sustainable basis over the long term and this is of course what the commission of audit has us achieve in a methodical and orderly fashion. As the Treasurer has indicated the commission's work will be conducted in two phases, Phase 1 will report to the rots
by the end of January on the rots and responsibilities of government. Efficiency and effectiveness of government expenditure and on fiscal sustainability. Phase 2, government by
which will report to the government by the end of March will then focus on public sector performance and very
accountability. So this is a very important task commission of audit has to take on for the government. We did inherit a budget in very bad shape. We do need to deal with it in a calm methodical and orderly fashion from here on in. The terms of reference ... (inaudible question)

(inaudible question)We said 1% of GDP, which exceeds surplus. It obviously ...We'll get to a surplus before that. The terms of reference include the privatisation ... (inaudible question) Can you talk about your thinking about when it might be worth selling off with
assets, if you were to do that, with some assets you'd are strand.
giving up a useful dividend strand. What are your thought ons that?In relation to the current
sale of Commonwealth asset, the current policy of the government is that we intend to sell Medibank Private and have something more to say about that very soon. We don't have at weren't a policy to sell any other Commonwealth assets. We're not going to speculate here today about what the commission of audit may or may not recommend. That is a matter for them. But we much
course want them to look very much at the scope of government moving forward the
there is a case in relation to the potential sale of Commonwealth assets into the future but we're not going to speculate about whether that might be the case or if it might be the case, what that might be. (Inaudible question) No we're going to keep to our election prom mixes but we're also going to make sure that we have a
live within our means. I don't the
have a terms of reference at the moment.We can get you one.Is anything at all ruled out of the terms of reference? When you talk about privatisation, and you want to have a look and see what comes up, do you have a starting point that anything such as Australia Post ...Phil, look, this is a - I want to emphasise. The last one was done in 1996. It is time to do it again. And we are doing it. It's going to be very thorough and very comprehensive. It involves a relationship between the Commonwealth and And it has very broad terms of reference. Now, I'm not going and my colleagues won't get into speculating what the outcome is of the commission. Let it do its job. It's going to have all the resources support we can muster.

(Inaudible question)We have to fix the budget.(Inaudible question)

question)The percentage of GDP keeps increasing. Over time when you have an GDP.
it decreases as a percentage of GDP. In relation to that when we see MYEFO you will see full details of the budget numbers.(Inaudible question) What matters is not the debt level
limit, it's the debt. And the to have
level of the debt. You've got to have a credible plan to bring the debt down. That's why we're having the commission of audit.(Inaudible question)

audit.(Inaudible question) No, he is absolutely the person to do it. But he is one commissioners.On the question
of a number of

you were going
of debt. There were suggestions you were going to look at infrastructure volumes to fund big infrastructure works of government. (Inaudible

government. (Inaudible
question) No.Is that what you plan to do? Look, the fact of the matter is, what we've said is I'm not going to talk about the issuance timetable from the AOFM. We've got make sure there is demand for quality assets in Australia and seen
if government debt issuance is then people
seen as a quality investment then people will go with it. The credit rating is matters and the pricing. I leave that to the marks. It's not for us. From our on
perspective, we've got to focus on the challenges that lie ahead. We're going to go for growth. One more question then that's TYou want this to be You've
comprehensive and thorough. You've got a timetable. Very tight. Yep.January and then March. Yep.It will all be over within six months. The Henry Review took years.Yeah. Didn't go too well.Such a tight