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Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Page: 2275


Senator JOYCE (QueenslandLeader of The Nationals in the Senate) (15:08): I move:

That the Senate take note of the answers given by ministers to all questions without notice asked today.

It is amazing that we have the most failed finance minister in our nation's history now sitting in this chamber. I want to go through Minister Wong's record. On 10 July 2010, it was suggested that the deficit for 2011-12 was going to be $10.4 billion. Then, in the MYEFO of November 2010, it went to $12.3 billion. Then in May 2011 it went to $22.6 billion. The December MYEFO had it at $37.1 billion. We are going to get the truth soon. When I was at uni, we had to give discount factors to the statements of certain of our colleagues. Any time that they said something, we had to give a 20 per cent discount factor to it. Some of them used to really stretch the truth. There was one bloke called Angus—I will not give his last name—who we used to call '97.3', because that is what you had to discount anything that he said by. But this minister is '400 per cent'. Everything she says has a 400 per cent acceleration factor. They are out the back door. Everything that they say is about 400 per cent wrong. It is a farce. I do not know why we use up oxygen to listen to them.

She came in here today and lauded the economic credentials of a government that has given us the biggest deficits. Every time that they say something, there is only one thing that you can be sure of: you can be sure that it is wrong; you can be sure that it will be worse. We are currently $233 billion in gross debt. We are nearly $17 billion away from bouncing our cheques. And that has all happened under the guidance and tutelage of Senator Wong. Senator Wong: Miss '400 per cent out the back door', who cannot get anything right.

Then there is the raft of complete and utter misleading statements that they make. Misleading statement No. 1: the mining tax will pay for the superannuation increases. No, that is incorrect; that is a mistruth. That is something that even Pinocchio would be proud of. That is an incredible statement, because it will not. Mr and Mrs Smith, Mr and Mrs Jones, and Mr and Mrs Small Business across our nation will pay for the superannuation increase. They will pay for it out of their wallets and if they cannot afford it they will reduce the amount that they are spending on salaries and they will reduce employment. And this has been done under the guidance and tutelage of this minister, who is now leaving the chamber because she does not really care.

Then there is misconception No. 2.

Senator Wong: Mr Deputy President, I rise on a point of order. That is most discourteous. The senator knows that I am not on chamber duty. To make a political issue about me leaving the chamber for an appointment is really discourteous and not what is usually done in this chamber.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Your point is made, Senator Wong, but it is no point of order.

Senator JOYCE: It is completely true. She is not staying here to listen to the issues. With only two minutes to go, I think that she could wait; she could last for another two minutes. But no, out the door she goes; she has gone; she has bolted.

Senator Lundy: Mr Deputy President, I rise on a point of order—exactly the same point. This is extremely discourteous of Senator Joyce. I ask him to desist.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: There is no point of order.

Senator JOYCE: Let us go to the next issue. The next issue is the small business tax deduction. But that is not the truth. What do you call something that is a deliberate untruth? This time the discount factor is 70 per cent, because 70 per cent of small businesses will not get the tax deduction because 70 per cent of small businesses are not incorporated. Maybe we will give the 70 per cent discount factor to Mr Swan. We have the 400 per cent acceleration factor on bad news that we can attribute to Minister Wong. We also have the 70 per cent discount factor on the truth that we can attribute to Mr Swan. This is what is happening to our nation as we go piece by piece through the back door.

These people are so incompetent that they have done something that I did not think was possible: they have come up with a tax that costs us money. How do you come up with revenue that becomes a cost? They have rewritten the book on accountancy 101. They now have an income that is an expense. It is easy: all you have to do is have the competency of the imbeciles that currently occupy the Treasury benches and these things become possible. We are going out the back door.

In trying to redeem themselves—in trying to extract themselves from this situation—they have attacked Australian agriculture, no better exemplified than in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. In that plan, we are borrowing money from overseas to remove productive capacity. We are borrowing money in order to make our capacity to pay that debt back worse. Why? I do not know. It is just one of those things. They do not believe in infrastructure—infrastructure is too hard. They just want to buy things back, send people broke and send them out the back door. They just want to turn everything into carbon credits and send them to Rwanda. That is the Labor Party policy: they are going to send the whole nation off as a carbon credit to Equatorial Africa and that is where it will all end.