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Government debt repayment plan in tatters.

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Tue, 15th September 2009


The Hon Joe Hockey MP

Shadow Treasurer

The Treasurer has left his so-called ‘plan to return the Budget to surplus’ in tatters.

This morning, The Sydney Morning Herald reported remarks from the Treasurer that:

“…even when the economy had recovered, there would be no return to the high levels of economic growth

which characterised the economy before the crisis struck”.

Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Recovery will be modest, Swan warns’, 15th September 2009

However, the government’s so-called plan to return the Budget to surplus and pay off the massive debt relies on

the following assumption of a rapid return to high levels of economic growth.

“We have forecast zero growth in 2008-09, negative growth of ½ per cent in 2009-10 and growth of 2¼ per cent

in 2010-11. We have then projected two years of growth of 4½ per cent, followed by four years of growth of just

under 4 per cent, falling to 2¾ per cent in the next year, 2017-18.”

Ken Henry, Post-Budget speech to the Australian Business Economists, Sydney, 19 May 2009

When questioned today in Parliament about these growth figures, the Treasurer once again failed to articulate a

coherent answer.

The Treasurer should come clean with the Australian people and admit that the government’s so-called debt

repayment plan is a sham.