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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 3485

Mr SLIPPER (2:56 PM) —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to his election promise of November 2007, where he said, ‘There will be no change to the superannuation laws one jot, one tittle.’ Will the Prime Minister now admit that there will be changes to Australia’s superannuation laws because all Australians are paying the price for the government’s reckless spending?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —I thank the honourable member for Fisher for his question. I would draw the honourable member’s attention to the fact, as I did earlier in question time today, that the government has suffered a $200 billion-plus revenue write-down. I would draw the honourable member’s attention to the fact that that is an amount equivalent to some $50 billion a year out to the forward estimates, which is an amount equivalent to, for example, abolishing all Commonwealth payments to the states for hospitals and health. Those opposite may seek to pretend that they could stop a revenue write-down. Is that the proposition from those opposite? I do not hear it. If you have suddenly copped the single biggest revenue write-down in this country’s financial history, you are required to embrace a series of tough measures for the future in order to ensure that our budget in the long term is financially sustainable. That is what we are doing. It involves hard decisions. These decisions will be dealt with in detail by the Treasurer in the budget this evening.