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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 4008

Energy Security Fund

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayLeader of The Nationals) (14:09): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to the Energy Security Fund program, which has been allocated funding of $1 billion in 2011, over $1 billion in 2013 and $1 billion again in 2014, but only $1 million in 2012. How does the Treasurer explain this astonishing decrease in expenditure for the program in the 2012-13 financial year? Does this confirm that the surplus in 2012-13 is just a clayton's surplus?

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Nationals should be careful not to include argument in his question, but I will allow it.

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:10): What it confirms is that the government has put in place responsible arrangements to bring the budget back to surplus in 2012-13. The irony of getting a question about the surplus and a profile of spending from a crew that have a $70 billion crater in their budget bottom line!

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer is aware that he is not being relevant. He will become relevant.

Mr SWAN: Mr Speaker, it was a question about our surplus and it was a question about the profile of a particular piece of expenditure across the forward estimates. What I am saying is that we have strict fiscal discipline, which is bringing our budget back to surplus. That stands in stark contrast to those opposite, who have a $70 billion crater in their budget bottom line. To fill that crater they want to put up company taxes by 1½ per cent.

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer is not to contrast; he has to focus on the substance of the question. The Treasurer has concluded.