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Hockey tries to deny $70 billion budget crater

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David Bradbury MP Assistant Treasurer

Minister Assisting for Deregulation

Media Release



Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has today again tried to deny the existence of the Coalition’s $70 billion budget crater.

We know that the $70 billion budget crater exists because Mr Hockey told us so on live television. On 12 August 2011 Mr Hockey told Sunrise that the Opposition had to fill a hole in their costings of “$50, $60 or $70 billion”.

Now he is trying to deny that he ever made those remarks.

When asked about the budget crater on Adelaide radio this morning, Mr Hockey simply walked away, saying ‘there is no $70 billion hole’.

HOST: So what are they talking about?

HOCKEY: All they’re doing is they’re just throwing a number around, and the more they throw it around the more they think people are going to believe it. [5AA, 28 March 2012]

We only know there is a $70 billion budget crater because a member of the Opposition’s economic team gave that figure to the Seven Network back in August last year. Even Andrew Robb has confirmed the $70 billion budget crater - telling Network Ten on 4 September 2011: “No, it’s not a furphy. We came out with the figure.’’

As a result of the uncosted spending commitments made by the Opposition, Mr Hockey has dug himself a $70 billion budget crater. Now he wants to walk away and leave Mr Robb holding the shovel.

By trying to walk away from his own figures, Mr Hockey has shown he simply doesn’t have the credibility to oversee the Australian economy.

28 March 2012

Media contact: Justin Koek 0400 126 939