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Peter Costello: the can't do man of Australian politics.

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Wayne Swan MP Federal Labor Shadow Treasurer


10 years is a long time to be Treasurer. Peter Costello’s performance yesterday confirms that in his case it’s actually too long.

After a decade in the job, an experience the Treasurer himself admits has left him “scarred”, Peter Costello has wilted into “The Can’t Do Man” of Australian politics.

Yesterday Peter Costello claimed he was powerless when it comes to tax cuts, foreign debt, petrol prices, and tax reform.

1. Costello on Tax Cuts

“People sometimes say, "Well, let's cut taxes for middle income families." You can't cut them because they're paying none. They're not paying any income tax”.

2. Costello on Foreign Debt

“This is not a substantive problem.”

3. Costello on Petrol Prices

“But the idea that there is a countervailing action in the Australian Government for every development overseas is not the way we base policy. What we base policy on is within the Australian economy, within the ability to raise revenue”.

4. Costello on Tax Reform

“I think we can put him to one side. What we can say is that last year we cut tax.”

By claiming he can do nothing on tax cuts, foreign debt, petrol prices, or tax reform Peter Costello has confirmed his place as “The Can’t Do Man” of Australian politics.

Every time “The Can’t Do Man” of Australian politics fails to address another economic challenge the foundations of Australia’s economic prosperity become that much weaker.

The simple fact is doing nothing on tax, foreign debt, and rising fuel prices, will put upward pressure on inflation and interest rates.

That means it is not just Peter Costello’s leadership aspirations that are threatened by his own political exhaustion, it is also the financial well being of hard working families.

ENDS Mon 1 May 06 Contact : Lachlan Harris 0417 592 338