Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
JOURNALIST: What do you have to say to voters who think that last night’s Budget was unfair?
MATHIAS CORMANN: The Budget that Joe Hockey delivered last night was an honest Budget. It was a fair Budget. It was a Budget that is going to build a stronger, more prosperous, more resilient economy, which will put us back on track for a sustainable Budget. We inherited a very challenging Budget situation from our predecessors. We inherited $123 billion of projected deficits. We inherited a spending growth trajectory that was going to take us to $667 billion worth of Government debt. That was not sustainable. The Government can’t forever and a day spend more money than we raise in revenue. We had to put a stop to the unsustainable spending growth trajectory. We’ve done that in a way that seeks to spread the effort as fairly and as equitably across all parts of the community, including higher income earners, who we are asking to make a special contribution with the Budget Repair levy.
JOURNALIST: Is that levy a broken promise?
MATHIAS CORMANN: We don’t believe so. Having assessed all of the information and all of the options to address the situation we were in, in our judgement this was the best way to ensure that the effort to help repair the Budget was spread as fairly and equitably as possible. What we’re asking Australians to do is to make a special contribution to help get our country’s Budget back on track. We’re asking people to come with us on this journey.
JOURNALIST: And finally, have you had much response yet from voters in your electorate?
MATHIAS CORMANN: The Budget was delivered last night. I got home at one in the morning. I was back at the office at 5:30 this morning. So no, at this stage I haven’t had any specific feedback out of my own electorate.
JOURNALIST: Okay, thanks very much for your time today, appreciate it.