Morning Doors – Parliament House

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia






Budget Reply

MATHIAS CORMANN: Today Bill Shorten will have to explain to the Australian people how he is going to pay for all his unfunded spending promises. Bill Shorten now has made close to $70 billion in unfunded spending promises.

Will he pay for those with increased taxes, which will hurt jobs and growth. Or will he pay for them with increased debt and deficit, which ultimately will lead to higher taxes on the Australian people.

The Labor party has been suggesting that somehow this $70 billion budget black hole that the Labor party has is not real. That somehow we are listing commitments that Labor made that are not real.

Well tonight is the opportunity for Bill Shorten to clear that up. I will give you just one example. About a year ago, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs said that if re-elected Labor would not proceed with the Government’s savings to foreign aid. Over the 2016-17 Budget forward estimates that comes at a cost of about $20 billion. So Bill Shorten today will need to clarify, was his Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs promoting Labor party when she said that in government Labor would not continue with our foreign aid savings.

Or was she just talking without any authority whatsoever. If she was promoting Labor party policy then Bill Shorten will have to explain tonight how he is going to pay for it. Where is he going to increase taxes. Or by how much is he going to increases deficits and debt.

QUESTION: Minister, you talk about unfunded promises but the last six years of your corporate tax plan are unfunded aren’t they?

MATHIAS CORMANN: That is not right. Our ten year enterprise tax plan, which is part of our plan for jobs and growth is costed. Fully costed and fully funded. Over the forward estimates it comes at a cost of about $2.7 billion, which is fully funded by tax integrity measures, by cracking down on tax avoidance and various other measures on the revenue side. Over the medium term the cost of the 10 year enterprise tax plan is fully reflected in our medium term projections. If you look at our medium term projections you will see that we are in surplus all the way through from 2020-21. That is the projection in the Budget.

REPORTER: Liberal MP Dennis Jensen who just walked past there said that the Budget was a fudged opportunity. That’s not particularly helpful advice from a fellow Liberal MP?

MATHIAS CORMANN: The Budget is our plan for jobs and growth. It is our plan to secure the successful transition of our economy from resource investment driven growth to broader drivers of growth in a strong, diversified and innovative economy. At the next election, the Australian people will have the opportunity to choose between our plan for jobs and growth, our plan to continue with the successful transition of our economy to a stronger more diversified economy, or Labor’s plan of higher taxes, higher spending, higher borrowings, which will hurt growth and which will cost jobs.

REPORTER: But Dennis Jensen, why would he say that?

MATHIAS CORMANN: Again, the Government on Tuesday delivered our plan for jobs and growth, delivered our plan to successfully transition our economy from resource investment driven growth to a stronger more diversified economy and that is the plan that the Government is working very hard on executing now on behalf of the Australian people. Any other questions?

REPORTER: Just in regards to the intern program, the Youth PaTH Program, how will you be able to ensure that employers don’t sack existing workers and then hire interns at a cheaper rate? Are there going to be any protections in place to stop that from happening?

MATHIAS CORMANN: There are many young people out there that would like to get into the labour market. We want to help them. We want to help employers take on disadvantaged young people looking for work. If you look at what has happened on the employment front in Australia since we came into Government in 2013, employment growth has strengthened. More than 440,000 new jobs have been created. But we are very conscious that the youth unemployment rate remains too high. We want to bring it down, which is why we have come up with an innovative program to help disadvantaged young people into work through a program of prepare, trial and hire. The program will be appropriately designed to ensure that the right safeguards are in place. Thank you.


Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Perth