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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3509


Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (14:34 My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to his interview on Melbourne's 3AW yesterday with Neil Mitchell when he was asked, 'Will whoever win the next election need to raise the debt ceiling?' and the Treasurer answered, 'Well, that will be a matter for them.' Given that the Treasurer has admitted that increasing the debt ceiling will be a matter for them, will the Treasurer apologise for telling the House 'it is not necessary to do anything about the debt cap at all'?

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:34): In fact that is not what I said yesterday. I said it was not necessary to lift the debt cap, we would review it in the usual way and we would amend it if it was required. That is what I said in the House yesterday. Now what we have here is a situation where the shadow Treasurer is running around quoting the market value of Commonwealth government securities when he knows that what counts for the debt cap is, of course, the face value.

Mr Hockey interjecting

Mr SWAN: Absolutely; I am pleased that you have finally admitted to that. Now if he would like to go to the AOFM website he could have a look there and see what the face value of securities on issue is. Currently the face value on issue is $268 billion—but he wanted to come into this House and pretend it was a far higher figure. So that is all part of his strategy for fiscal fear mongering. Well, I can certainly say to the shadow Treasurer that it does not need to be lifted in this year or next year.