Interview with Kieran Gilbert, First Edition, Sky News

 

KIERAN GILBERT:

With me now the Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. The Coalition spokesman as well of this campaign. Mathias Cormann in relation to the education funding, Labor backing away now from the suggestion of a 2.8 per cent boost to GDP immediately from their Gonski education funding. But do you accept that there is an inherent logic to the argument that if you put more resources into something that you’re going to have a better result? And educating our kids surely is going to boost the economy overall?

MATHIAS CORMANN:

Firstly, Bill Shorten was caught out this week misleading the Australia people. He misrepresented an international report claiming that it showed something which it didn’t. Bill Shorten has got an unfunded spending promise, which will drive up taxes. Higher taxes hurt jobs and growth. The Coalition when it comes to schools funding, we have an affordable, sustainable, guaranteed funding increase for schools, which is tied to improvements in teacher performance and improvements to education outcomes. One of the authors of the report that Labor has been referencing actually came out yesterday and again today, making very clear there is no systematic link between increased spending and improved education outcomes.

KIERAN GILBERT:

No systemic link, but if you have a reform with more money surely it helps?

MATHIAS CORMANN:

That is what the Coalition is doing. We are increasing funding on schools by $1.2 billion over the current forward estimates. We are tying it to better teacher performance and to better education outcomes. What Bill Shorten has is an unfunded promise. Now an unfunded promise cannot be delivered. An unfunded promise would lead to higher taxes. Higher taxes would hurt investment, would hurt growth and would hurt jobs. So there wouldn’t be an immediate growth effect. Of course Bill Shorten had to finally concede that.

KIERAN GILBERT:

You heard the analysis of Peta Credlin last night talking to Laura Jayes about the decision to baulk in Western Sydney from a street walk that was planned. In hindsight would it have been better if Mr Turnbull just did that as planned?

MATHIAS CORMANN:

I don’t think that people across Australia are going to make decisions at this election on the basis of diary arrangements. People across Australia are looking for the plans of the two major parties, the plans we have for the economy. The Coalition has a plan for jobs and growth. We have a plan to boost investment in science and innovation, supporting start-up businesses, we have our defence industry plan... interrupted

KIERAN GILBERT:

You’ve also got to show you are in touch don’t you? If Peta Credlin is right, seen as the mansion man from the harbour, instead of talking to the real people?

MATHIAS CORMANN:

Malcolm Turnbull is very much in touch. Malcolm Turnbull is out there advocating our plan for jobs and growth. Right now when we continue to face global economic headwinds, when the global economy continues to be under pressure, what Australia needs is a plan to secure the successful economic transition from resource investment driven growth to a more diverse, stronger, new economy. That is what Malcolm Turnbull is advocating every day. I don’t think people will get distracted.

KIERAN GILBERT:

He will have a chance to talk to the voters tonight in Western Sydney at the People’s Forum. How important is this in terms of a potential momentum shift in the campaign?

MATHIAS CORMANN:

Between now and the election, every single day, Malcolm Turnbull and everyone in the Coalition team will be talking about our plan for jobs and growth and why it is so important. Our plan, as I was about to go through, for an investment in science and innovation program to support start-up business, our defence industry plan to support local manufacturing, our plan to continue to roll out export trade deals to help our businesses get better access to markets overseas, our plan for tax cuts for small and medium sized business and for hard working Australians to boost growth and indeed, our plan to put the Budget on a sustainable foundation for the future where funding for health, education, roads, is guaranteed. Bill Shorten tonight will have the opportunity to explain how he is going to pay for his $66 billion Budget black hole. Where is he going to increase taxes by more? We already know, he has already asserted that he will push up taxes by $100 billion, which will be bad for jobs and growth. Where else is he going to increase taxes? That is what he will have to explain to the people in Western Sydney today... interrupted

KIERAN GILBERT:

The questions from 100 undecided voters, they come up with the questions themselves. What sort of things do you think we can expect to pick up tonight from this marginal seat? One of a number across the Western Suburbs.

MATHIAS CORMANN:

People will want to know I suspect, that their jobs are going to be secure. That there is going to be opportunity for them and their children to get ahead. They will want to see out of the two leaders putting themselves forward for election to be prime minister, who has got the better plan for the economy? Who has got the better plan for jobs and growth?

KIERAN GILBERT:

My final question, just a minute left. The real estate agents to declare war on Labor over its negative gearing policy. This is in the Telegraph today. Have you spoken to any of these particular real estate agents ahead of this, what looks like a mining tax campaign?

MATHIAS CORMANN:

I haven’t spoken to anyone myself. But let me just say, Labor’s negative gearing policy so-called, would be a disaster for Australia. It would push down the value of property. It will push up the cost of rents and it will be very bad for families across Australia trying to get ahead.

KIERAN GILBERT:

Mathias Cormann appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.

MATHIAS CORMANN:

Always good to talk to you.