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Transcript of doorstop: Adelaide: 30 August 2012



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E&OE………………………………………………………………………………………

JOE HOCKEY:

This Government has a Budget black hole of $120 billion. They must come clean with the Australian people about what taxes they are going to increase or new taxes they are going to use to pay for this black hole.

Labor keeps lecturing everyone about the Coalition’s promises, but they are running the Budget. They have now got to be upfront with the Australian people or else it is going to further undermine consumer confidence and business confidence because everyone knows that if you don’t live within your means, when it comes to Labor, it means higher taxes. These are independent third party figures. They are not our creation, and they are objective because they don’t even take into account the warnings from Dr Martin Parkinson or Dr Ken Henry that the revenues are not going to be what the Government expects. They also do not take into account Wayne Swan’s own admission that commodity prices are coming off and that will have an impact on the Budget.

Yesterday we saw confusion from the Government about how they were going to pay for dental care. A $4 billion plan on dental care and the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health couldn’t agree on how they were going to pay for it. Tanya Plibersek said the savings are not there and said new savings need to be found. Julia Gillard said the savings were there. This is not the way to run a Budget and it further undermines whatever consumer and business confidence is out there. That confidence is brittle. If the Government keeps saying to wait until the end of the year for the mid year economic statement, they have got a ‘Fail’. At the moment they are spending like drunken sailors, they are spending like there is no tomorrow and they are not telling Australians how they are going to fund their $120 billion black hole.

JOURNALIST:

Can the Coalition promise they have got the funds for all their commitments?

JOE HOCKEY:

Absolutely. We are not the issue. We do not run the Budget. We are nowhere near Government because there is no election. I would say to you, here and now, there is a $120 billion Budget black hole in the Government’s numbers, this mob need to come clean with the Australian people. We know what they say about taxes, they have lied before about taxes, they will do it again. Australians should be angry about this. We get lectures from the Government about living within our means - well, they are not living within their means. They are spending like there is no tomorrow - new multi -billion dollar announcements everyday, I can’t help but think they are just building more monuments to themselves, hoping like hell that they will never have to pay for them.

JOURNALIST:

How would the Coalition fund all their commitments, considering you will scrap the carbon and mining taxes?

Doorstop - Adelaide Thursday, 30 August 2012 Errors and Omissions Excepted

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JOE HOCKEY:

We have already said that a vast amount of the tax package spending is not going to be part of our commitments. We have also said we will make further cuts. We have already announced redundancies of 12,000 across the public service in the first two years. I am not going to cop any lectures from this Government. We have previously announced savings, they have taken $13 billion of our savings - and then criticised them. Quite frankly, no lectures from the Government, the Government has got to stop campaigning against us and it has got to start governing for the country. It is leaving people bewildered about where all this money is coming from. I will say to the Government again ‘Where is the money coming from? What taxes are you going to increase? What services are you going to slash?’.

This freeze on Government grants is just papering over the cracks. It is like a bandaid solution when a desperate Government is trying to meet a political objective. I would say to you, again, you can’t trust Labor when it comes to handling money.

JOURNALIST:

On another matter, it looks like there is another asylum tragedy unfolding off the Indonesian coast. Do you think Australian authorities should be involved?

JOE HOCKEY:

Yes. Wherever there is a tragedy and we have the capacity to help, we should be involved. I would expect that we are involved.

JOURNALIST:

Authorities are flying out to Indonesia now, I believe, do you think they should have gone sooner?

JOE HOCKEY:

I don’t know the circumstances, what I do know is that the boats only started coming again when the Gillard Government, the Rudd Government and the Labor Government changed the rules. Now the boats are still coming and it is tragic, absolutely tragic. We have said to the Government that we support them on Nauru and Manus Island, we have said you also need to have Temporary Protection Visas, and, where possible, turn the boats around. They have only taken one of our three suggestions. If they take the other two then the boats will stop.

JOURNALIST:

The Prime Minister has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nauru, but they haven’t actually determined how many asylum seekers will be kept there. Do you think that should have been determined first?

JOE HOCKEY:

The Government wouldn’t have this problem if they didn’t change the laws that gave the people smugglers a business case. Now they have changed the laws back, in part, to what they were before. This is just a sad and sorry tale. It is a sad and sorry tale that just represents yet another example of

failed policy and a terrible human cost for that failed policy. Thank you.

[ENDS]

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