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Transcript of doorstop: Tuesday, 26 August 2008: the economy and Budget.

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation



I just wanted to make a comment this morning about some reckless statements by Mr Rudd and Mr Swan in relation to the Opposition’s position on matters economic. The reality is that business and consumer confidence has plummeted under this Government over the last eight months and that really is compounding the international problems that are facing our economy at the moment as well. Mr Swan and Mr Rudd need to come out and put some confidence back into the Australian market place so that small business in particular can continue to put on staff as they did 12 months ago, that they can invest in capital, that they can support their businesses to grow and at the moment we are not seeing that. Small business is petrified about where this economy is headed and Mr Swan has a lot of answering to do as to why he has put us in this position today.



I have seen some media reports today and we will make some announcements in relation to policy decisions in due course, but what I would say to you is look at the fact that this is a $1.1 trillion economy. There is Government expenditure of around $300 billion or Government revenue of about $300 billion. If you want to look at a good piece have a look at Terry McCrann’s piece today talking about the impact, for arguments sake, of the Alcopop decision. If it is the decision of the Opposition to block it, it will make an impact in the 08/09 year of about $640 million, it will reduce the surplus as estimated by the Government from about $21.7 billion down to about $21.1 billion. To suggest that that has some sort of an impact of blowing a hole in the Government surplus is a nonsense. Don’t forget also that we introduced surplus budgets when we came into Government in 1996/97 and in years beyond that because we had a $96 billion Labor debt and we ran surplus budgets so we could pay down that Labor debt which we eventually did in 2006, so we don’t need to be lectured to by the Labor Party in relation to surplus budgeting. We were the ones who introduced it to pay down their debt and we will continue to be good economic managers from Opposition and we will turn around this economy when we are elected at the next Federal election. Thanks very much.