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Transcript of radio interview with Sabra Lane: ABC AM: 29 March 2012: Budget



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TRANSCRIPT

THE HON JOE HOCKEY MP

SHADOW TREASURER

ABC AM

INTERVIEW WITH SABRA LANE 29 MARCH 2012

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………

JOE HOCKEY:

Well, this is like Groundhog Day. Every budget Wayne Swan has delivered, before each budget he promises Armageddon, then we get a series of confused, deliberate leaks from the Government and then we end up with a budget that looks nothing like what the actual outcome of the budget ended up being.

SABRA LANE:

You don’t think it’s going to be tough?

JOE HOCKEY:

It’d be the first tough budget he’s had if it’s a tough budget and I just think in this case, a Swan’s not going to change his spots.

SABRA LANE:

You would welcome cuts though. You’ve been calling for them for a long time.

JOE HOCKEY:

Well, we don’t necessarily welcome cuts but we think they need to be delivered because this is a government that has massively increased government expenditure and it’s engaged in a tremendous amount of waste - a tremendous amount of waste - and the latest example being digital set top boxes that are far more expensive than what Gerry Harvey can deliver to people’s homes.

SABRA LANE:

The economy though is going through a structural change, the country is dealing with high dollar, fluctuating commodity prices and collapsing revenue. They’re things outside the Government’s control, aren’t they?

JOE HOCKEY:

Well, there will always be events outside the Government’s control, except for the fact that the Government keeps announcing spending programmes and the best example is the carbon tax which they refused to put in last year’s budget and when it is revealed just a few months

after the budget, it becomes clear that the Government’s introducing a carbon tax package which actually makes the budget worse and not better. Only Labor can introduce new tax packages and leave the budget worse off.

SABRA LANE:

It was known last year that Treasury was quite keen to introduce means testing of the child care rebate but the Government didn’t opt for that. Is that something you’d support?

JOE HOCKEY:

Well, from out perspective the Government has got to come clean on what it proposes to do on a range of different expenditure. On the one hand it writes out cheques for nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to international companies and on the other hand it starts cutting back on family support. The bottom line is, they’ll promise a budget surplus but we won’t know whether they’ll actually deliver it until September 2013 and by then I’d expect the election is well out of the way and we find, if there is a change of government, that they’ve yet again delivered another budget deficit.

SABRA LANE:

The $275 million assistance that was announced for Holden last week, you said that you had deep reservations about it. Would you keep that assistance or would you cut it?

JOE HOCKEY:

Well, my deep reservations are well founded given that it’s now becoming clear after questions in the South Australian parliament that the Government of South Australia and the Labor Government in Canberra received no commitments from Holden to protect jobs, particularly in Elizabeth in South Australia.

SABRA LANE:

Would you cut it?

JOE HOCKEY:

Well, we don’t know what it’s for. So, when the Government comes clean on what they’re actually getting for a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money, then we will be better informed like every other Australian.

[ends]