13 May 2014
Transcript - #2014008, 2014

Doorstop, Parliament House

SUBJECTS: Budget

CIOBO:

Last September the Australian people elected the Coalition Government to begin the task of repairing the damage left by Labor. We were elected to make the tough decisions that are necessary to put Australia back on a pathway to economic credibility and economic sustainability. This evening’s Budget is about investing in the future. This evening’s Budget is the Coalition demonstrating to the Australian people how seriously we take our commitment to them; to restore the Budget; to get Australia back on track to achieving a sustainable surplus; to shift expenditure so it’s no longer focused on consumption but actually focused on investment for tomorrow. This is also an opportunity to highlight the difference in approach between the Coalition, who recognise tough decisions have to be made, and the Labor’s party failed approach; an approach that basically tries to convince the Australian people there’s some magic pudding where they can promise to be all things to all people and keep borrowing to pay for it. I’m happy to take any questions.

JOURNALIST:

Why do you think the Australian public will be happy with the Budget?

CIOBO:

The Australian public recognise that this will be a tough but fair Budget. A Budget that invests for tomorrow. A Budget that makes the hard decisions necessary to stop the reckless spending and to play down the level of debt that’s been left by the Labor party who were borrowing like there was no tomorrow.

JOURNALIST:

If it is a tough Budget, how good a sale man is Tony Abbott?

CIOBO:

The Coalition has a very clear mandate from the Australian people that we were going to do several things; we were going to make sure we that stop the boats – we’re achieving that; we were going to abolish the carbon and mining taxes – we would like to achieve that but Labor is preventing us. What we’re also trying to do is make sure the Australian people understand these tough decisions are necessary to get Australia back on track.

JOURNALIST:

Raising taxes wasn’t one of the Coalition’s pre-election commitments. It looks like there will be some sort of deficit levy in tonight’s Budget. How is the public going to respond to that? How do you think they will buy that?

CIOBO:

Australians understand Labor’s approach was a failed approach and it was an unsustainable approach. We believe that Australians will understand the need for us to make small temporary decisions that are going to have an impact but are going to make sure this is a tough but fair Budget. We want to make sure everyone across the spectrum makes their contribution to get Australia back on track and that’s what we’ll be doing with tonight’s Budget.

JOURNALIST:

Do Australians understand you need to break a promise?

CIOBO:

Australians will understand that the decisions the Government takes tonight are decisions that will invest for the future; are decisions that will get Australia back on the pathway to economic sustainability; and importantly the decisions taken tonight will make sure everyone across the board makes their contribution to get Australia back on track. The party has stopped; Labor’s reckless spending has come to an end, it’s now time to pay the piper and tonight’s Budget is about making sure we do a tough but fair Budget that gets us back onto a pathway of economic sustainability.

JOURNALIST:

They understand you, will they forgive you?

CIOBO:

The Australian people will always, I believe, reward a Government that makes tough decisions knowing that they’re fair decisions and they’re in the long term interests of Australians. The reality is as a Government we want to make sure we leave the country in a better state than we inherited it. Labor didn’t do that – Labor inherited no debt, Labor inherited a strong budget surplus. Labor left Australia an economic train wreck with debt as far as the eye can see. We’re now restoring the economic credibility of our nation; we’re starting to pay down Labor’s debt in terms of reducing the amount that we’re borrowing and we want to make sure long term we’re in a position to start to restore our balance sheet.

JOURNALIST:

Are there any sweeteners?

CIOBO:

You’ll be able to see any electoral sweeteners or any sweeteners that are so called in the Budget tonight when the Treasurer makes his statement.

JOURNALIST:

Are you encouraged the Greens are going to support this reported increase in excise?

CIOBO:

Look after tonight’s Budget we’ll see what the various parties do in terms of the Senate and what’s going to happen in terms of where they will put support or where they won’t put support and what sort of requirements that they’ll be looking for. My simple message in this: the Australian people elected us to do a job; tonight is about doing that job. Tonight is about restoring economic credibility so I would implore the other parties to hear the mandate from the Australian people, to respect it, and realise that the failed approach of the last six years can’t continue and tough decisions are necessary to get Australia back on track. Alright, thanks all.