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Thursday, 16 May 2002
Page: 2380

Mr McMULLAN (4:18 PM) — Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr McMULLAN —Twice, Mr Speaker.

The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr McMULLAN —I have been misrepresented yesterday by the Prime Minister and today by the Treasurer and both these misrepresentations relate to the question of the $3 billion accrual deficit in this year's budget. The Prime Minister yesterday in answer to a question alleged that I had suggested that the $3 billion was a deterioration from the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook and in some way thought, on advice from the Treasurer, that he was answering my question. In fact I made no such allegation. What I had alleged was that revenue had increased since the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook on an accruals basis; the budget papers confirm that. Today, the Treasurer suggested that I was wrong in suggesting that the $3 billion budget deficit would have an upward pressure on interest rates because the deficit was even worse in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. The point that I was making—which he has reinforced—was that in fact the upward pressure on interest rates has been going for even longer than I alleged.

The SPEAKER —The member for Fraser is now advancing an argument and will resume his seat.