13 May 2014
Transcript - #2014031, 2014

Doorstop interview, Canberra

SUBJECTS: Budget

TREASURER:

Good morning, everyone. How are you going? Well, this is a significant day for Australia. There's no doubt about that. The Budget is asking the Australian people to contribute so that we can build. It is a terrific Budget for Australia's future. I would say to the Australian people, if you're only looking in the Budget for your own interests, then you may be disappointed, but if you're looking for the national interests you will be cheered. This Budget is about shaping the destiny of our nation. Now I know over a number of years lots of governments, probably lots of Treasurers have said that, but I think when you see the detail of the Budget tonight and you see what we are doing to build a stronger, more prosperous nation to address the mess that we inherited, you will see that this Budget is good for Australia and good for our destiny.

REPORTER:

Treasurer how do you sell broken promises?

TREASURER:

Say it again sorry?

REPORTER:

How do you sell broken promises?

TREASURER:

Well, don't assume there are broken promises. The most significant promise we made was to fix the Budget, to build a strong economy and tonight we're getting on with the job.

REPORTER:

What is the Budget going to do for unemployment? We saw the Reserve Bank saying unemployment is going to stay high for some time or take a long time to come down; is your Budget going to help unemployment?

TREASURER:

There is going to be a significant growth package coupled with innovative workforce participation measures that is going to build the stronger economy and that's going to help to create the jobs that are so necessary.

REPORTER:

And are you expecting Labor to support the…

TREASURER:

Even the fountains are celebrating.

REPORTER:

Are you expecting Labor to support every Budget measure in full or do you think you are going to have to renegotiate on some of the measures that you're proposing?

TREASURER:

Well, it depends whether Labor's prepared to put the national interests ahead of their own interests. It will be an easy Budget to criticise but for the nation it will be an important Budget to support.

REPORTER:

The Greens have said that they will support an increase in the fuel excise but they will not support a deficit levy, what's your reaction?

TREASURER:

Well, their policy attitude is up to them.

REPORTER:

Why should Australians do their bit for the nation if they weren't warned about it before the election?

TREASURER:

Well we weren't warned about the state of the books – the true state of the books before the election. The fact is that Labor never confirmed, never even suggested that there was never a chance that they would actually get to surplus, let alone start paying down the debt. So, there's two ways we can go here, we can either pretend there is no mess and Australia heads towards an eventual train crash on the Budget, or else we can do what's right in the national interest; they're the two choices. Now, we are going to do what is right for our nation. That is the first responsibility of a government and we are going to do it and let's move away from this whole argument about who knew what, when and the process associated with it. The Budget needs to be fixed, we didn't create the mess but we are stepping up to the plate to fix it and we will take responsibility to fix it.

REPORTER:

What impact will the GP co-payment have on the poorest Australians and the healthcare they receive?

TREASURER:

Well, everyone is going to have to contribute if we want to build a stronger and more prosperous Australia and we will, thank you.