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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 210

Mr BUCHHOLZ (WrightGovernment Whip) (18:55): I do not intend to speak for long on the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Amendment Bill 2013 because I believe that very early in the course of the day our Treasurer articulated the argument quite simply. Before I go to my notes, I would like to address some of the points raised by my colleague the last speaker. He spoke about a lack of time with this bill—that they have not had long to consider it. I remind the parliament and I remind my colleagues that when we last left government there was no debt. There was no debt ceiling. We did not need a debt ceiling. This government came along and said, 'If we put a $75 billion debt ceiling in place, that will be enough to get us out of strife.' Then I think it went to $200 billion and we heard, 'That will be enough and then we will not have to touch it again.' Then it went to $250 billion and then I think it went to $300 billion. And yet they come into this House and oppose our request for a debt ceiling limit. If we look at the bleeding obvious and the evidence before the House, it is clear the forecast of the previous government has been absolutely atrocious. It is accurate to say that the previous government has not been able to sit hit the side of a barn with a budget forecast. He also went on to talk about tanking.

Mr Bandt: What is your debt ceiling?

Mr BUCHHOLZ: There was an interjection there from the Greens member. I am going to love hearing you. Your party leader said the other day that there should not be a debt ceiling, so I am going to love hearing what your backflip on this one is, cowboy.

The member for Fraser also spoke about tanking. This is a new term that I have not heard because I am from Queensland and I follow rugby union and rugby league. I know the previous speaker to be a man of integrity. He sits on the Economics Committee and he knows quite well the concerns that have been raised. Look at me now—you know quite well the concerns that have been raised publicly by the Governor of the Reserve Bank about the drawdown of capital. He has made those statements openly to the public. It is wrong of you not to acknowledge the Governor of the Reserve Bank's concerns about the behaviour of the previous government. It is wrong and you should acknowledge that.

You mentioned that we had not as a government articulated an argument or given good enough reason for the debt ceiling should be increased. The argument put today by the Treasurer was simply that peak debt was going to be $430 billion and that there was a requirement for a buffer of $40-$60 billion. That is the argument: peak debt plus a buffer of $40-$60 billion. You work it out. I had another couple of pages, but I am done, thank you.