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Hockey caught out on $8.8 billion grant to the RBA



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CHRIS BOWEN MP SHADOW TREASURER

MEDIA STATEMENT

HOCKEY CAUGHT OUT ON $8.8 BILLION GRANT TO THE RBA

The Treasurer has today been exposed on his clear political strategy to blow out the 2013-14 budget deficit in order to make future financial years look artificially better than they might.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Mr Stevens has made clear that by providing the one-off grant of $8.8 billion to the RBA in the current financial year, the Government will be able to receive larger dividends from the RBA in future years.

The Coalition is clearly padding out the budget deficit in 2013-14 to receive increased dividends from the RBA in future years.

Mr Hockey has no excuse but to release as a matter of urgency the advice he received from the RBA and the Treasury on the $8.8 billion grant.

Mr Hockey sought to hide behind the RBA in making a decision to provide a one-off $8.8 billion grant to the Reserve Bank Reserve Fund.

Mr Glenn Stevens has made clear today that this was the Treasurer’s decision alone.

Mr Stevens also reaffirmed advice provided to the former Government that retaining dividends like what occurred in 2012-13 at the RBA’s request, was the way to repair the impact that the high exchange rate has had on the RBA’s balance sheet.

While the Treasurer has been continuing to spread fear and talk down Australia’s economic prospects, following his visit to Washington, Mr Stevens a distinctly different view on the meetings in Washington.

“There was a distinctly more relaxed tone to the discussions in and around the IMF and G20 meetings in Washington in October than there had been at like meetings earlier in the year”, Mr Stevens said today.

Mr Hockey needs to stop making excuses and release the advice he received from the RBA and the Treasury on this matter.

It is not sufficient to release a short media statement in justification of such a large expenditure of taxpayer funds.

This lack of transparency is fast becoming a trend for the Abbott Government in the Treasury portfolio and right across the government.

Media Contact - James Cullen 0409 719 879