Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
QUESTION: Minister, can we start with the Treasury documents talking about the tobacco excise and Labor’s black hole. What’s this indicative of?
MATHIAS CORMANN: What it shows is that Labor doesn’t know how to manage money. Their sums just don’t add up. We have to remember that Labor has form on this. When they came up with the mining tax when they last were in government, they said it would raise billions and billions of dollars. They spent all the money they thought it would raise and more. The money never came. This is just another example, which demonstrates that if Labor came back into Government, they would again make a mess of the Budget.
QUESTION: Labor are saying that their education spending isn’t linked to the tobacco excise. Any response to that?
MATHIAS CORMANN: That is just completely wrong. As late as yesterday, when challenged about the funding source for their schools funding, the Shadow Minister for Education, Kate Ellis interjected that it was funded by the tobacco excise. Every step of the way Labor has linked the increase in the tobacco excise with their promise to increase funding for schools in an unaffordable and unsustainable way. Now they are running away from it. They have got to come clean on their story.
QUESTION: When every day Australians watch the Budget speech by the Treasurer tonight, what can they expect?
MATHIAS CORMANN: The Budget tonight is our economic plan for stronger growth and more jobs. It is our plan to continue to secure the successful transition from resource investment driven growth to broader drivers of growth in a diversified economy. It is our plan to ensure that our Budget position is sustainable for the future, that we can live within our means.