13 May 2015
Transcript - #2015107, 2015

Interview with David Koch, Sunrise, Channel 7

DAVID KOCH:

Look you said we are in an economic crisis really you’ve had to push the return to surplus out a couple of years. Surely things are still tough?

TREASURER:

No, it’s the same trajectory as last year. We’re still getting it down. The deficits have been slightly larger because we had a massive fall in iron ore prices and we’ve had a big drop in revenue, but the growth is still there Kochie and we’re coming back and the rest of the world is coming back as well. That’s what’s encouraging. We’re seeing good growth signs in the United States, near full employment, the Euro zone this time last year I was being told by the IMF that there was a 50 per cent chance that they would go into recession. It hasn’t happened. China’s economy now is twice the size that it was ten years ago. So when you look at the growth number, the growth number is going to come down because it’s much bigger, but its contribution to global output is actually the same and growing.

DAVID KOCH:

Do you regret last year’s Budget being so mean?

TREASURER:

It wasn’t mean. We had to do it.

DAVID KOCH:

We all went into the bunker. We all got scared last year.

TREASURER:

Come out, come out. Because we had to do what was done. Because we had to address some of the structural problems that we inherited. Now if you make those hard yards - and we did last year, but there are some things, we can’t afford to reinstate the bonus payments on Gonski education or on hospitals that the states were getting. We’re still getting increasing health and education in real terms by 6 per cent over the next four years. We’re increasing it, but we can’t afford the bonus payments. We couldn’t afford to do what Labor wanted to do on foreign aid. I know that’s hard. But we couldn’t afford to do it and we’ve had to make cuts. So you do those things, then you can put the money in things that are going to grow the economy. Infrastructure and small business. I know for a long time, you’ve been an enormous fan of small business, you know it. Our initiatives last night are a game changer for small business.

DAVID KOCH:

Great for small business, we want them to go and invest we want them to hire more people. To the rest of Australia you say ‘get out and have a go.’ Why should they? Why should they believe you, why should they start thinking glass half full rather than empty?

TREASURER:

Well because we’ve actually helped to deliver lowers costs. Now in the case of electricity prices, they have come down. And gas prices, they have come down. We’re also the beneficiary of low petrol prices. That’s obviously the world, not us, but we’re obviously the beneficiary. And record low interest rates. You’ve got record low interest rates, you’ve got a massive increase in exports over the next few years as you can see from our Budget. We’re going to start to see our income as a nation, nominal GDP as they call it, you’re going to start to see that increase. And importantly, you are going to start to see greater confidence in the jobs market. I think we’ve beaten that high unemployment challenge and we’re coming down, and I think we’re coming down with good momentum.

DAVID KOCH:

Melissa and the three kids were there to see the speech last night? Did the kids stay awake?

TREASURER:

They did, although Xavier was pretty ill afterwards.

DAVID KOCH:

That went down well; he started throwing up after the speech.

TREASURER:

Lucky it wasn’t in the chamber during the speech.

DAVID KOCH:

Poor guy.

TREASURER:

I was up all night with him. But anyway, it’s all good.

DAVID KOCH:

Thanks for joining us.

TREASURER:

Thanks.