Labor’s credibility shattered on surplus promise
Labor’s credibility is non-existent now their plan to break their 2012-13 surplus promise has been exposed.
In an interview with the Australian Financial Review last week the Prime Minister referred to Treasury forecasts that showed “we have an economy at trend growth and in those circumstances it is appropriate for the budget to be [in] surplus.”
The September Quarter National Accounts revealed that the economy only grew at a sub-trend rate of 0.5 per cent for the September quarter, exposing Julia Gillard’s surplus ‘guarantee’.
Ever since the mid-year Budget update the Prime Minister and the Treasurer have been crab-walking away from their 2012-13 surplus promise. Time and again they have refused to repeat their guarantee to deliver a surplus this financial year.
Yet three days before the last election in August 2010 the Treasurer stated that he would deliver a surplus “come hell or high water”.
The Prime Minister went further; in 2010 the Prime Minister ‘guaranteed’ that she would deliver a surplus in 2012-13.
In July this year the Prime Minister even presumptively told the McKell Institute that: “We saved jobs, stayed out of recession and got back to surplus.”
It is now clear the budget surplus promise will be jettisoned, just like Prime Minister and Treasurer’s promise never to deliver a carbon tax.
Once again, Australians can’t trust the Gillard Government.
In stark contrast to Labor, the Coalition has a plan to create a diverse five pillar powerhouse economy that can create one million new jobs over the next five years – and two million new jobs over the next decade.
Attachment A: Key Julia Gillard/Wayne Swan commitments to a 2012-13 surplus
WAYNE SWAN, JULIA GILLARD AND SURPLUS
Wayne Swan has committed to a surplus in 2012-13 over 200 times since 2010. The Treasurer has said they will return the Budget to surplus in 2012-13 ‘come hell or high water’, and the Prime Minister has claimed that we have already achieved a surplus telling the McKell Institute in July this year that “We saved jobs, stayed out of recession and got back to surplus.”
The Prime Minister in 2010:
The Budget will be back in the black, back in surplus, in 2012-13…
Yes, the Budget is coming back to surplus Laurie in 2012-13 as promised.
(Source: Julia Gillard, Today Show, 7 November 2010)
The Treasurer three days before the last election in August 2010:
Well we’re getting back into surplus in three years, Kochie.
Ok. Come hell or high water?
Come hell or high water.
(Source: Wayne Swan, Debate with Joe Hockey, Sunrise Program, 18 August 2010)
The Prime Minister in 2011:
“My commitment to a surplus in 2012-13 was a promise made and it will be honoured.”
(Source: Julia Gillard, Speech, 13 April 2011)
“You can’t run this country if you can’t manage its budget, Mr Abbott has never shown the capability to manage its budget yet.”
(Source: Julia Gillard, Press conference, 14 April 2011)
“It is important for families at this time that the Government does not add to inflationary pressures in the economy. That's why it's vital to get the budget back into surplus and back into the black. That's what this budget has done. That is the best thing we can do to help families with cost of living pressures - not add to inflationary pressures and in this budget we don't.”
(Source: Julia Gillard, ABC AM, 11 May 2011)
The Treasurer in 2011:
“We see the surplus in 12-13 as being absolutely fundamental.”
(Source: interview with Chris Uhlmann: 7.30 program, ABC TV: 20 April 2011)
“We'll be back in the black by 2012‑13, on time, as promised.”
(Source: Wayne Swan, Budget 2011-12 Speech, 10 May 2011)
“The alternative — meandering back to surplus — would compound the pressures in our economy and push up the cost of living for pensioners and working people.”
(Source: Wayne Swan, Budget Speech 2011-12, 10 May 2011)
“That is why we are returning the Budget to surplus in 2012-13, so that we don’t compound the inevitable price pressures that will come from the investment boom.”
(Source: Address to the International CEO Forum, Canberra, 14 June 2011)
“The Government remains absolutely committed to delivering our return to surplus as we planned.”
(Source: Interview with Marius Benson: ABC News Radio: 8 August 2011)
LANE: How can you give a cast iron guarantee to return the budget to surplus next year when the European debt crisis has already blown a hole in the coffers and no one seems to have any idea of just how bad this contagion from Europe's going to be?
TREASURER: Well because we rely on forecasts from the Treasury.
(Wayne Swan, Transcript of interview: ABC Radio, AM program, Sabra Lane: 30 November 2011)
The Treasurer in 2012:
“We’ve got our colours nailed to the mast. That’s what we’re doing. We’re producing a surplus in 2012-13. We’re determined to do that and that’s what we’re going to do.”
(Source: Transcript of doorstop interview: Canberra: 7 February 2012)
“Despite the tough global conditions, we remain determined to return the budget to surplus in 2012-13, and we will get there.”
(Source: Treasurer's economic note: 10 March 2012)
In July 2012 the Prime Minister even bragged:
“We saved jobs, stayed out of recession and got back to surplus.”
(Source: Julia Gillard, Address to the McKell Institute, 4 July 2012)