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Transcript of doorstop interview: Brisbane: 9 October 2009: employment figures; Ken Henry's testimony to the Economic Stimulus Committee.



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DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

BRISBANE

9 OCTOBER 2009

SUBJECTS: Employment figures; Ken Henry's testimony to the Economic Stimulus Committee

JOURNALIST:

There's been some more good economic indicators out over the last day or so. Will you reassess the stimulus package?

TREASURER:

Well, can I say that I warmly welcome the employment figures that were out yesterday. Because the stimulus put in place by the Rudd Government, was put in place to support employment and to support small business. And it has been very successful in doing both of those things. And because it's been successful it should be something that should be acknowledged as being an important part of the outcomes that we are seeing in the economy now, because there are many other advanced economies around the world that are not getting the sort of outcomes that Australia is getting. And Australia has been more successful than just about any other advanced economy because of the economic stimulus put in place by the Rudd Government. But because it's been successful doesn't mean to say it should be stopped. If it was stopped right now as the Liberal and National Parties put forward, what that would do would pull the rug out from underneath the employment of thousands of Australians and thousands of small businesses.

JOURNALIST:

Ken Henry has today said that employment figures would be worse without the stimulus measures. How much worse would yesterday's figures have been do you think?

TREASURER:

Well, there's no doubt that our stimulus has been very successful in supporting employment. And there are tens of thousands of people in employment who would not otherwise have been in employment if it wasn't for the stimulus. But for those who suggest that the stimulus should be stopped - they are the same people who said we should sit and do nothing. And if Australia would have sat and done nothing then this country would have been in recession right now. So, what the Liberal and National Parties are advocating is pulling the rug out from underneath the economy, and from underneath the employment of thousands of Australians and, of course, supporting thousands of small businesses.

JOURNALIST:

Transcript of 09/10/2009

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There's a new report out praising Australia as a global financial centre. How important is that endorsement?

TREASURER:

Well, it's an important endorsement of this country. Australia is a stand out success when we look at what has gone on around the world in the middle of this global recession. The Government has been responsible in putting in place a stimulus to support our economy, and to cushion the effects on this economy from what has been going on elsewhere in the world.

JOURNALIST:

Ken Henry has also said this morning that for the Government to lower debt you either need to cut spending or raise taxes. Would you agree with this comment?

TREASURER:

Well I haven't seen the precise comments from Mr Henry this morning, so I don't intend to…

JOURNALIST:

That's basically what…

TREASURER:

No, I don't respond to hypotheticals and I'll have a look at what Mr Henry has said. But what I can say is that we have the lowest debt and the lowest deficit by a country mile, of any other advanced economy. So by those measures, Australia has had the strongest growth, and the lowest debt, and the lowest deficit by a country mile of any advanced economy. Thanks very much.

Page 2 of 2 Transcript - Employment figures; Ken Henry's testimony to the Economic Stimulus C...

12/10/2009 http://www.treasurer.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=transcripts/2009/138.htm&pageI...