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Transcript of interview with Kieran Gilbert and Laura Jayes: Sky News: 25 August 2013: Paid Parental Leave Scheme, Coalition Campaign Launch



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The Hon Christopher Pyne MP Coalition Campaign Spokesman Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training

Sunday 25 August 2013

Interview with Kieran Gilbert and Laura Jayes, Sky News

Subjects: Paid Parental Leave Scheme, Coalition Campaign Launch

EO&E...........................................................................................................................................

KIERAN GILBERT:

Joining us here in Brisbane now, the Liberal frontbencher, campaign spokesperson, Christopher Pyne.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE:

Morning Kieran, morning Laura.

GILBERT:

Good morning.

LAURA JAYES:

Good morning.

PYNE:

How are you?

GILBERT:

Yeah, very well thanks. Mr Rudd there, we heard in that news conference again saying that the Coalition, if it’s going to say you will know what sort of government you’ll get, well then you have got to be transparent with the costings - and you haven’t been to this point.

PYNE:

Well Kieran that’s not true, I mean each time we’ve announced a new policy we have also announced savings, if it is a spending matter. Mr Rudd is stomping all over his own message again this morning. On Insiders today he couldn’t nominate whether his scare figure was $40 billion, $50 billion, $60 billion or $70 billion. I think that just speaks volumes about how really he is just making it up as he goes along. His campaign is unravelling. This morning he confirmed that Labor didn’t have a mandate for a Carbon Tax, which is a very important admission, and yet he hasn’t explained - if that was the case - why he voted for a carbon tax. Why he voted to increase it, only about two months ago, and why he voted to put it on heavy trucks from next July. Now either they had a mandate, or they didn’t have a mandate, and Kevin Rudd is just usual ducking and weaving.

JAYES: Just back to your own costings, Joe Hockey said in recent days that defence, health and education will be quarantined so where are these savings going to be made?

PYNE:

Well, we will release a full policy in terms of savings and spending before the election.

JAYES:

Will it be the day before?

PYNE:

No we won’t do what Labor did Laura. Laura in 2007 and 2010, Labor released their costings policy the night before the election. So Kevin Rudd is in no position to lecture anyone and I think the Australian public are well and truly over being lectured by Kevin Rudd, being lectured by Kevin Rudd on fiscal responsibility is like being lectured by Hannibal Lector on the benefits of vegetarianism, and we will release our full policy before the election.

GILBERT:

But, you referred to those numbers, $70, $50, $40 billion whatever, there was a $30 billion figure cited by the respective economist Saul Eslake on Friday for the Bank of America Merrill Lynch now he is respected by both sides of politics. It is quite a big number, $30 billion, that you have got to come up with.

PYNE:

Well Kieran, this election doesn’t turn on whether Labor’s scare campaign gets off the ground on costings or not, this election turns on who can stop the boats, who will reduce the cost of living by abolishing the carbon tax, who will secure peoples jobs by abolishing the mining tax, and reducing the company tax rate and who has an economic management plan to get some belief back in to the budget.

GILBERT:

That’s the point isn’t it, that’s the last point?

PYNE:

Sure.

GILBERT:

That’s why we are having this discussion.

PYNE:

Labor will run a care campaign a day, Mr Rudd has questions to answer today about why yesterday he left the impression that the situation in Syria was so important he’d suspend his campaign, only in fact to fly to Brisbane to do a cooking show with Annabelle Crab.

GILBERT:

But he was discussing the NBN after that comment so that was a misinterpretation.

PYNE:

Well that’s what we often see, we have the same kind of issues surrounding the dawn service in Vietnam in 2007 when he didn’t think his office had anything to do with it.

JAYES:

Are you suggesting he is playing politics on this issue, perhaps in an attempt to reset his campaign?

PYNE:

No, I am not suggesting that. But I am suggesting he is being pinged badly in the newspapers this morning for his pattern and behaviour, he said that they wouldn’t have, his office wouldn have nothing to do with trying to change the dawn service in Vietnam. Turned out there was a string of emails, said he had nothing to do with Brian Burke, turned out that there’d be a lot of communications and emails between Kevin Rudd and Brian Burke and turned out he was challenging a position for the leadership for the Labor Party. And now of course there’s this story, so Kevin Rudd needs to explain that, and he needs to explain why he voted for a carbon tax when he says there was no mandate for it.

JAYES:

Just on your own policy, the paid parental leave scheme is talked about as Tony Abbott’s signature policy, and he’s also said that there is a budget emergency. So is a $5.5 billion dollar a year scheme, really affordable at this time? There’s some dissenters in your party.

PYNE: Well a paid parental leave scheme is fully costed and fully budgeted for.

JAYES:

But that money could be spent elsewhere, regardless whether if it is fully costed or fully budgeted?

PYNE:

Well we believe that women should be paid the same if they’re having a baby, if they would have if they were having a holiday or long service leave. Now that seems like a reasonable proposition. We think that women who work and then go and have a child that, that support on the time of their maternity should be a workplace entitlement or welfare.

JAYES:

Is it more important than lifting the dole payments to the lowest paid people in the county, or the aged pension?

PYNE:

Well it will restore productivity, it’ll increase the population and it will also support participation in the workforce of women who are highly skilled and it’ll benefit of course, the vast majority of people that are the low income and middle income people. Labor wants to jip those people $21,000 of an average wage, we want to make sure they get the wage they would have if they had stayed in the workforce.

GILBERT:

Is it disingenuous for the Coalition to come today and have a very positive launch, and talk about all the optimism when the last three years have been very much characterised by negativity and trying to drag the minority government down?

PYNE:

Well Tony Abbott will outline today how a stronger economy will build a better society. But I will put it to you Kieran that the last three years have been dysfunctional and divided and chaotic. Not because of a problem with the polity in Australia, but with a problem with the Labor Party. Now just because the Labor Party is chaotic and divided and dysfunctional and hateful of each other doesn’t mean that the Australian political scene is as bad as Labor. Labor is not the Australian polity. At this election in two weeks’ time the Australian public have a chance to re-start the clock on Australian politics and give the future a better view than we’ve had in the last six years.

JAYES:

And what will your leader, what will Tony Abbott be focusing on today in terms of policy announcements? Indigenous affairs? Aged care policy?

PYNE:

Well he will explain how a stronger economy will build a better society and we will announce policies to do with apprenticeships for example, which will give certificate three and four apprentices on the national skills list a HECS style loan for their start-up costs. Whether it’s tools and whether it’s living expenses etc. over a four-year period. That will be a very positive policy, and I think today you will see him outline his vision for Australia.

GILBERT:

Mr Pyne we might wrap it up there, thanks so much for joining us.

PYNE:

Thank you.

[ENDS]

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