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Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Page: 4260

Mr TURNBULL (Leader of the Opposition) (2:14 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to his statement in the House yesterday that government debt will peak at $300 billion. I also refer him to the Treasurer’s statement minutes later that government debt will reach $315 billion. Can the Prime Minister inform the House whether public debt will peak $15 billion higher than he advised the House yesterday?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —I thank the honourable member for his question. Gross public debt peaks at $300 billion—

Opposition members interjecting—

Mr RUDD —As I said to the House yesterday, gross public debt—

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER —Order! The question having been asked, I would have thought members would be interested in the answer.

Mr RUDD —I thank the honourable member for his question. Gross public debt peaks, as I advised the House yesterday, at around $300 billion, which is 21.7 per cent of GDP. When it rises in aggregate terms to $315 billion, that is 21.4 per cent of GDP. As I advised the House yesterday, therefore, ‘peaking’ is at 21.7 per cent of GDP, which is around $300 billion.