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Opposition needs to check Government spending.



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WHYALLA OFFICE: PORT PIRIE OFFICE:

45a Playford Avenue WHYALLA SA 5600 104 Ellen Street (PO Box 296) PORT PIRIE SA 5540 Phone: (08) 8645 4255 / Phone: (08) 8633 1744

Phone: 1300 301 651 (local call cost) Phone: 1300 301 742 (local call cost)

Fax: (08) 8645 5933 Fax: (08) 8633 1749

ROWAN RAMSEY MP Member for Grey

Media release

Opposition Needs to Check Government Spending

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he believes it is the responsibility of those in opposition to place checks on government spending to ensure tax-payer’s money is spent wisely.

“The Coalition believes the both the size and some priorities of the $42bn stimulus package announced by the Government are ill-considered and leave little flexibility to respond to further challenges,” he said. “It will not be a popular move to oppose cash hand-outs, but it is right for the country and it is right for our children.

“Treasury estimates show within three years the Government will have borrowed $5900 on behalf of every Australian. If you have a family of three you will owe $29,500. Either you or your children will have to pay that debt and the interest. Retirees will owe the same and someone else will have to pay that as well.

“Even more disturbingly, the Government has tabled a bill enabling unauthorised borrowings to be lifted from $70bn to $200bn. “Alarm bells should be going off everywhere. Why is this bill tied up in the package? What is the emergency that the Government might need this money in the next few weeks? “It took ten years to pay back the $96bn debt the last Labor Government accrued. Interest on that debt was accumulating at around $10bn per year.”

Mr Ramsey said he believed parts of the package have merit. “The Coalition would have welcomed the chance to work with the Government on this,” he said. “We are in favour of a more modest package of between $15 - 20bn and a reintroduction of the Investing in Our Schools Program to the tune of around $3bn.

“We would bring forward the tax-cuts programmed for July. We will back a house insulation scheme, but it should be means tested and because insulation should pay for itself, it should be a joint funding commitment between the owner and the Government.

“The Government, even after this package, expects unemployment to rise to 7 percent in the next 17 months. There are no incentives to business to keep staff employed. The Coalition proposes temporary government assistance to help pay the Superannuation Guarantee. “This would help all employers keep staff employed providing help to exporters, the tourism industry, aged care, technology and education industries, not just the insulation industry.

WHYALLA OFFICE: PORT PIRIE OFFICE:

45a Playford Avenue WHYALLA SA 5600 104 Ellen Street (PO Box 296) PORT PIRIE SA 5540 Phone: (08) 8645 4255 / Phone: (08) 8633 1744

Phone: 1300 301 651 (local call cost) Phone: 1300 301 742 (local call cost)

Fax: (08) 8645 5933 Fax: (08) 8633 1749

“Cash hand-outs are undoubtedly popular, but do they do the job? Mr Rudd had promised the last stimulus would provide seventy five thousand new jobs, but there is no evidence of this and in fact unemployment has risen. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released figures showing only six percent of the $10.4b cash-splash was reflected in increased retail sales in the last quarter. “Before we even know what the Christmas fistful of cash did for the economy, the Government is throwing out another $12.2bn of your children’s money in the same way. “The Government calls for bi-partisanship, but has shown complete contempt of the Parliamentary system by demanding the opposition pass their legislation through two houses in 48 hours.

“It is ridiculous with the Government spending $42bn that it believes the package is perfect and cannot be improved on and that we in the Opposition have not one suggestion worth considering. “So much for bi-partisanship.”

Media Contact Leonie Lloyd-Smith (08) 8633 1744 February 4, 2009