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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3516


Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (15:02): My question is to the Treasurer. Now that it is clear that the Treasurer's budget forecasts are based on a mining tax that is meant to increase tenfold to deliver the revenue over the next four years, a market-traded carbon tax that ignores market prices and an asylum seeker budget that claims a miraculous 90 per cent drop in illegal arrivals by boats, when will the Treasury just come clean and admit that the budget needs emergency rescue?

Ms Macklin interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is warned.

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (15:03): We have prepared a budget based on the forecasts of the Treasury. Our budget and its forecasts have been prepared by the same officials that prepared budgets for the previous government—

Mr Hockey: They are not the same officials!

Mr SWAN: They are not? I can tell you that they are.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr SWAN: By and large they are, yes, it is true that there has been a change in terms of the permanent head, but the group that is doing the budgets for us is substantially the group that was doing them for those opposite. We have accepted in full the forecast of the Treasury in our budget over our forward estimates. We have done that because they are realistic, and as I said before to the shadow Treasurer, if you read basically the analysis of the market economists, it generally accepts the central proposition that has been put forward in the budget in terms of our growth forecasts. If he denies that, he can do that at the risk of simply getting people up there to go and read what all of the credible market economists have been saying. I ask people to do that because this attempt to discredit our forecasts is despicable, because what they are doing is reflecting on the professionalism of our public servants—despicable and disgraceful. This is a political agenda which is designed to get the Leader of the Opposition off the hook because he does not intend to provide detailed plans for the future in his budget reply tonight, because he knows that, if he supplied the detailed plans that they really have for the future, they would be unacceptable to the Australian people because those opposite have an economic approach which endorses the approach of austerity which is being used so unsuccessfully in Europe. They do not believe in supporting jobs and growth like this government. We are members of the Labor Party; it is in our DNA, and we always do everything that we can to support jobs and growth. Yes, we have had a challenge in our economy over the past 12 months caused principally by a higher Australian dollar and a lower terms of trade. The dollar has been higher for longer and had a dramatic impact on the profitability of our companies. All of the profit based taxes are down, and it is not principally the resource rent taxes, as he dishonestly said in his remarks before. It is company tax, it is superannuation tax, it is capital gains tax, it is resource rent taxes—all of them are down to the tune of $60 billion, and the logical proposition that he is putting to the house today is that if they were in government, faced with these revenue downgrades, they would cut over the forward estimates by $60 billion, and then you would see some real damage to jobs and growth in our economy and you would see some real damage to the quality of education and healthcare in our country. (time expired)

Mr Lyons interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Bass will leave the chamber for one hour under standing order 94(a). That is unacceptable.

The member for Bass then left the chamber .