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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 150


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:29): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's comments this morning:

… we never opposed the former government’s bills to raise the debt ceiling. We never opposed them.

I also refer the Prime Minister to the Hansard record from 4 February 2009, which shows him voting against an increase in the debt cap. Prime Minister, why say to the Australian people one thing this morning when it is not in fact true?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:29): I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question. It is very well known that we opposed the former government's stimulus package back in 2009 because, as we said, it was too much too soon. But on, I think, five occasions—or was it four occasions—

Mr Bowen: I rise on a point of order, Madam Speaker. The Prime Minister refers to the stimulus bill, but in fact the Leader of the Opposition referred to the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill. The Prime Minister is misleading the House and I seek leave to table the Hansard to assist the Prime Minister—to remind him and to provoke his memory.

The SPEAKER: The member will resume his seat. That is not a point of order; that is an argument. If you wish to raise a point of order, kindly refer to the point of order you wish to make—and it must be one within the standing orders. That was merely an argument. There is no point of order.

Mr ABBOTT: This opposition, when they were in government, proposed on numerous occasions to raise the debt ceiling because they were addicted to debt and deficit. That is one of the many reasons why people wanted them out. While we always criticised their policy, while we always opposed the policy of debt and deficit, we never, when I was the leader, voted against it in the parliament.