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Coalition clangers No. 1: Sloppy Joe needs a MYEFO 101

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David Bradbury MP Assistant Treasurer

Minister Assisting for Deregulation

Media Release



Joe Hockey has staked his claim as Australia’s worst ever Shadow Treasurer with his sloppy Hockeynomics.

Rather than get off the couch and bothering to read MYEFO, Sloppy Joe has trotted out a conga-line of clangers this morning and over the past week:

CLANGER. Mr Hockey claimed the Murray-Darling Basin plan was not in MYEFO:

“Well the Prime Minister announced a $1.7 billion for the Murray-Darling Basin - not a single dollar of that was contained in a statement just made a few days earlier.” (ABC AM, 30


FACT. As the Prime Minister and Minister Burke announced on Friday, it is in MYEFO.

CLANGER. Mr Hockey claimed our economy was ‘flat-lining’.

“Look, in a week when the Budget has collapsed, the mining tax has collapsed and the economy is flat-lining, I just don't think these are the most significant issues.” (Sunrise - 26


FACT. Australia’s economy has been growing for 21 consecutive years and the most recent figures show us growing at 3.7 per cent through the year. On top of this, the IMF is forecasting Australia to be the fastest growing advanced economy this year and next.

CLANGER. But just a few days later, Mr Hockey claimed the Terms of Trade were at record highs: “We've got still the best terms of trade in 100 years.” (ABC AM, 30 October)

FACT. If Mr Hockey had bothered reading MYEFO, he’d know the terms of trade have come off their record highs, with our terms of trade forecast substantially revised down in 2012-13.

CLANGER. And a few days beforehand, Mr Hockey claimed there was ‘no lost revenue’ “Wayne Swan keeps talking about lost revenue. There’s no lost revenue” (Sky News, 22


FACT. This is despite undisputed evidence that the Global Financial Crisis wiped $160 billion from government revenue.

CLANGER. Mr Hockey claimed the Baby Bonus was a “financial penalty” and that no Australian Government had ever differentiated between children out of the same family. “The bottom line is in Australia we have never had the financial penalties

associated with a birth of a second or third child. That has never existed. We have never had that.” (Insiders - 28


FACT. Mr Hockey must be the only person in Australia who calls a $3000 bonus a “penalty”. And Mr Hockey was part of a Government that introduced the First Child Tax Offset in 2001 that gave parents a tax break of $500 a year for only one child per family.

Despite his chest-beating about “ending the Age of Entitlements”, he has attacked almost every sensible savings measure, even comparing changes to make the baby bonus sustainable as akin to China’s one child policy.

This is after he spent the last Parliamentary sitting week calling on the Government to urgently release updated budget figures and then complained the Government was releasing them too early.

He criticised the Government for not spending enough money in the Asian Century White Paper and in the same breath was attacking the Government for spending too much.

This is a Shadow Treasurer who couldn’t name the official interest rate during a radio interview and who announced a $70 billion blackhole in his costings live on Sunrise.

Mr Hockey is so out of his depth, he tried to redefine the term “recession” on Insiders.

Mr Hockey should stop making things up and start paying attention. Australia’s economy, by almost any measure, is a standout performer among major advanced economies.

We have:

• Had 21 years of economic growth and our economy is 11 per cent larger than when we came to office despite the Global Financial Crisis;

• An unemployment rate at less than half the rate in Europe and significantly below other advanced economies;

• An exceptional jobs record, with 800,000 jobs created since we came to office, despite 27 million lost worldwide;

• Contained inflation in the middle of the RBA’s target band;

• A low official interests rate, which, at 3.25 per cent, is lower than it was at any time under the Howard government, saving Australians on a $300,000 mortgage around $4,500 per year in interest payments compared to when the Howard government left office;

• A Budget returning to surplus ahead of any of the major advanced economies; and

• Low government debt, with net debt as a share of GDP peaking at around a tenth of the level across the major advanced economies.

I know Mr Abbott is bored by economics, but even he can’t ignore the incompetence of the Shadow Treasurer.

But this is just scratching the surface. I will continue to issue these releases to highlight the danger posed to hardworking Australian families by the economic and fiscal incompetence of senior Coalition frontbenchers.

And I will continue to talk about the strength of the Australian economy while the Coalition continues their reckless attempts to mislead and talk down the Australian economy.

30 October 2012

Media contact: Justin Koek 0400 126 939