Minister Cormann doorstop, Canberra



It is becoming increasingly clear that under Bill Shorten, Labor is the same old Labor as under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

Unfunded spending promises and the old discredited, tax and spend, debt and deficit approach of the Rudd and Gillard governments.

We are now being told that Labor would deliver a mini-Budget 100 days after the election. Labor should not be waiting for 100 days after the election. Labor should be telling the Australian people now how they plan to pay for their unfunded spending promises. Labor should be telling people today, Chris Bowen in fact should be telling people at the Press Club today how Labor plans to pay for its $66 billion Budget black hole, which they currently have.

Unfunded, unaffordable spending promises under Labor, always lead to higher taxes, which hurt jobs and growth. This is not what the Australian economy needs right now. This is not what our economy needs as we are transitioning from record resource investment driven growth to broader drivers of growth in a strong, new, diversified economy.

Happy to take questions.


Mathias, last night we heard the Greens would support the Labor party in a hung Parliament. What do you make of that?


This is just another example of the same old Labor. The worst thing for the Australian economy, the worst thing for our AAA credit rating, the worst thing for our economy in transition would be a return to the bad old days of a Labor-Green government.

Yesterday we had the open defiance of Labor candidates and Labor Members of Parliament from around Australia against the Opposition Leader over border protection policies. Labor cannot be trusted on border protection. They always talk tough before an election, as they did before 2007. But we know what they do after an election and the disastrous consequences of those actions.

Here we now have the proposition of a return to the bad old days of a Labor-Green-Independent alliance in Government if Labor was to be successful at the next election. That would be bad for jobs, bad for growth, bad for our AAA credit rating and very bad for our Budget.


There has been an RBA report about negative gearing that has surfaced. What can you tell us about that?


There has not been an RBA report. There has been a very old internal memo explaining how negative gearing operates and presenting a series of historical perspectives on negative gearing. It precedes the release of the Labor Party policy on negative gearing, which would drive down the value of property across Australia, which would push up the cost of rental, which would reduce the level of investment going into business and the share market. This document is an internal note. It doesn’t represent the official RBA position and it shouldn’t be misrepresented that way.


Chris Bowen at the Press Club. What are you expecting from him today?


Chris Bowen at the Press Club today must tell the Australian people how Labor will pay for its unfunded spending promises.

So far Labor has made spending promises leading to a Budget black hole of up to $66 billion over the current forward estimates. Chris Bowen will need to explain how Labor plans to pay for its promises. He needs to explain how Labor promises will impact on the Budget bottom line over the four years of the current forward estimates, not keep fudging it by talking about tax hikes and the revenue that his tax hikes will generate over a decade.

We need to know what the Budget bottom line impact of Labor’s promises will be each year of the forward estimates, the same way as the Coalition did in Opposition when we presented the fiscal impact of our costings openly and transparently on a year by year basis over the four years of the forward estimates.