12 May 2015
Transcript - #2015102, 2015

Interview, SBS

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible]

TREASURER:

Well, hopefully Mr Shorten will see some common sense at some point and understand that you can’t keep spending the way the Labor Party keeps spending. We’re about reducing expenditure, the Labor Party wants to increase it, and increase people’s taxes.

JOURNALIST:

Business have welcomed the announcement tonight, but many welfare groups have said they’re disappointed, they’re vulnerable, they say they remain vulnerable tonight, and particularly no overhaul for superannuation, no overhaul for the pension system...

TREASURER:

Well, we want to give people with superannuation certainty and stability. They’re looking at lower returns than they would have expected, because interests rates are very low, so if you’ve got money in the bank it’s going to be very difficult. So we’re not going to put taxes on superannuation like the Labor Party, but we’ve announced [inaudible]. We want stability and certainty, we want stability and certainty with the pension and making it sustainable, and that package stands as something that’s going to help all older Australians to have the stability they want.

JOURNALIST:

Now the Jobs Programme announced tonight, this is a new announcement. This is, I take it, new money, targeting disadvantaged groups but particularly in migrant groups who are not engaging in the work force. Can you tell me about that?

TREASURER:

Well we’ve got to break that cycle that is affecting some migrant communities and I understand, I’m the son of a migrant. When people come to Australia it can be, you can feel alienated, you can certainly get caught, can easily get caught, and distracted by, in many cases young people, being [inaudible]. So we’re reaching out to those communities. We have specific funding for that community, migrant communities, which we’re going to say more about. But most importantly, we’re going to help organisations like the Brotherhood of St. Laurence and others, who are actually on the ground in high youth unemployment areas, and help them to do the counselling, the education, the support, the mentoring and all those things that are necessary to get young people out of that terrible cycle.

JOURNALIST:

Do you see the unemployment rate now for migrant communities in Australia as a crisis?

TREASURER:

Well, I see the entire unemployment rate as too high. I want to get it down. And as you can see from our Budget, we expected a peak at 6.5 per cent, it’s 6.2 now, and we’re doing better. We’re doing better than people expected. And I don’t want it to get any higher, I want it to get down. And the best way to get it down is to empower small business, which is the engine room of a lot of migrant communities. It’s family businesses, that’s why from tonight, they can go out and buy items for their business up to $20,000 and write it off against their tax on the 1st of July. This is a big incentive for small business to go out and have a go.

JOURNALIST:

Now the aid cuts announced in December, but realised tonight in Budget form, is a 40 percent cut to the Indonesian [inaudible].

TREASURER:

Well, what Julie Bishop has rightly done, is look at how we can get better bang for our buck in foreign aid. We are not going to continue to give huge lifts of aid money to countries that then go and give aid to other countries. So what we’re doing is, looking at their economy, the size of their economy. If they have aid programmes, particularly where it goes, and making sure they’re in our region. And that’s perfectly reasonable.

JOURNALIST:

Given the executions in Indonesia, is this a payback?

TREASURER:

No. No.

JOURNALIST:

So what’s your message?

TREASURER:

Well our message is that we are trying to ensure with our own money, that it goes into our region, that it’s targeted at outcomes, and importantly, that it helps to build the prosperity and assist with poverty alleviation in our region.

JOURNALIST:

Joe Hockey, thank you very much for speaking to us.

TREASURER:

Thanks very much.