Appropriation Bill (No. 3) (No.4) 2008-2009

Appropriation Bill (No. 3) (No.4) 2008-2009  


Debate cut off by Mr Rudd:


This was one of 30 speeches cut off by the Rudd Labor Government in an attempt to limit debate and discussion on Labor’s package to plunge Australia into debt and deficit


The global financial crisis we are told by the Treasurer is the biggest crisis since the Depression. As an Opposition we take that very seriously and I take that very seriously as an elected representative of the Australian people.




This Labor Government is becoming fond of saying there is No quick fix. That is one thing that is true.  But if they believe that there is no quick fix then why does it appear that Labor is in a state of immense panic, looking for the quickest easiest of fixes? Lets be clear. This is not about the worthiness of schools or funding various capital works in schools. Lets be clear.Labor is proposing a massive increasing in Government borrowings and Government spending in a rush to do something, do anything to deal with this challenge without regard to whether it will work. They consistently refer to “temporary” deficits but have no answers about how temporary any of their measures are. How is this responsible and how is this sustainable? Of course it isn’t responsible and it isn’t sustainable and the Opposition have an obligation to stand up to reckless and unsustainable spending.  We especially stand up for those generations of future Australians that will be called on to pay for this in years to come.


The contention that massively increased Government spending is the only answer to our problems is false. There are many mechanisms available to Government’s today other than massive borrowing and spending. Yet listening to the Government we get this monotone of thought and argument that all you have to do is spend spend spend and everything will be ok. On that theory why would we stop at 42 billion why not 60 80 100 billion? Well we know why, history tells us why Government’s can’t simply borrow and spend and and hard economic times. Immediate Australian history, the Keating era is a prime of example of what happens when you do.


Because every measure in this package does have to be paid for. Paid for in full and most importantly WITH INTEREST. These bills propose to take the nation $200 billion into deficit.  That equates to $9,500 debt for every Australian.  Listening to the Minister for Finance defend that today was revealing, oh look we just need a billion here and a billion there and look um it will all sort of be balanced against the future fund and then  we will pay it down in the future when there is a surplus.  It all sounds so simple. If the nasty opposition would just get out of the way and let us borrow more than ever before our country will be saved.


Add to this, Labor members opposite saying in their speeches today that people will receive things free; items from these measures won’t cost them a cent. That’s what Minister for the Environment said about their insulation plan. Just make a call and you insulation will be installed free. That is manifestly false, every item purchased from these measures will be paid for in full by us and more importantly our children. It will be paid for in full and probably at inflated prices owing to the distortions that massive government spending tends to create in so many ways.


 If we know spending measures won’t achieve what we desire an economic turn around then why should we continue to spend them.




We now have a Government in Australia that openly speaks of national unity. Government MP’s that speak of conformity, unity of thought and purpose and action. As if economically speaking we can force people to behave in the way the government demands. As if we can control the behaviour of millions of people through government announcement.


Is this attempt to change individual economic behaviour working, do people really listen to Labor’s pronouncements on the economy, no they are smarter than that:


When they announced their first cash handouts 10.4 billion and 1 percent of GDP demanding people spend spend spend what did people do,


They Saved.


Individuals and familles are astute enough to know what is best for them. That for most of them now is the time to pay down debt and to save.


When the Government urged businesses to not layoff workers, to somehow pretend that the contractions of their businesses were not occurring what did business owners and operators do:


They ignored the Government and continued to respond as they must to the forces in the economy that determine how a business operates.


When the Government spent 10.4 billion and said create jobs in the economy.  What was the result: there were no jobs created. 


The economy will not respond the way the government wants it to,  simply because it spends more, so why continue to just spend more and more on low quality measures when it will not result in real employment.


So  Labor’s attempts to force taxpayers and business owners to behave the way they want are not working and will continue not work.


And so knowing they have failed the Government now seeks this Parliaments permission to borrow 200 billion dollars. To mortage our childrens future, to sink us into generations of debt and despair that will have to be repaid. To send more of taxpayers money chasing the artificial constructs they are trying to impose on the economy to follow the money they have already splashed across the economy which has not achieved the objectives they require.




Expose Government failure:


The year leading up to the election saw Mr Rudd accusing the last Government of Reckless spending of spending money like drunken sailors.


We now know they were pretending to be something they were not to get elected to Government. It worked. But what then. Well that’s the rub isn’t it. What to do what to do. When they got elected the economy was dangerously overheating and inflation was out of control wreaking havoc across the economy. New tax measures were required and large surpluses to protect us from inflation.  How ridiculous those claims and this Government’s economic credentials look now.


Now today they propose the biggest the most reckless programme of spending Australia has seen and the low quality of the spending is of enormous concern.


Where are the measures that will help our economy recover?


Where are the big infrastructure projects that will add capacity to our economy?


We are not reinforcing economic success or laying a platform for future economic growth in our major cities. There is no real vision or plan to address the serious economic dilemma we face.


The reality is Labor promised more than they could deliver at the last election. They set expectations so high in every portfolio they knew they could never meet them. Now when we are in the biggest economic crisis we have faced, the Government is focused on funding its promises telling us this is the best way to meet this major fiscal challenge. But the key to it is to fund this promises they want to borrow.


There are better ways and we need to explore them here today.



Our ideas about what to do:


So where are the real economic measures that could begin to really stimulate the economy?


No employment stimulus, why wouldn’t we considerremove red tape, employment taxes, reduce the cost of labor so it is easy for small medium and large enterprises to retain staff this year.  Why is the only option on the table to spend spend spend. We have thousands or laws and regulations that act as a disincentive for employment and investment to varying degrees why can’t we why won’t we look at relaxing those? If this is such a crisis if this is so dangerous to our future economic well being hten surely it is time for the Federal Government to reduce the burden Government places on business in this country. Surely there is no more important time to do this.


What about Labor’s new taxes in charges they have introduced since being in office: Will they remove the so called luxury car tax that has caused so much damage to that industry when the car industry is in crisis.  Will they remove the so called alcopos tax which has done nothing but pull more money out of the economy and into Government coffers and done except distort the alcohol market.


What about their cash handouts to the States. Where are the demands for reform within our States. Lets take my State of NSW . The economy has been in a depressed state for years, because of the State Government, because of its tax settings, its budget mismanagement, because of its lack of reform because of its politics over policy approach. The biggest disincentive to recovery in NSW is the NSW State Labor Government. Where is the urgent push on them to change their act to stop strangling business in our State? Labor Governments are in this together reinforcing each others failures and it couldn’t be worse timing for Australia.


In contrast to this I fully support initiatives of the calibre of the opposition leaders to assist small business to pay the super contributions of employees for a number of years. (EXPAND)


I fully support bringing forward tax cuts. Tax cuts will prove to be the best way of delivering people back their own money to decide how to spend or invest it themselves.


Of course if your objective is not to build self reliance, strong communities that don’t need Government to look after them every hour of the day then this legislation is what you would pursue. This package ignores self reliance it ignores a serious and sustained recovery which will only come from a recovery in the initiative and enterprise of individual’s families and businesses of our nation.


Nowhere is this more obvious than in the lack of initiatives for the charity sector. As we now unemployment is dramatically rising.  The agencies that will deal with the effect of this are suffering like everyone else during this time of crisis. Charities in my electorate record that their revenues are down at least 50% on last year. More than 60%  in some cases. And demand is up. We know demand for these services will massively increase, that unemployment will put an unprecedented strain on these vital agencies. So where are the measures for charities? There is no money or relief for charities who will have to deal with the impacts of unemployed. This is 42 billion unprecedented spending and not a dollar for charities and agencies who play such a vital role in handling the consequences of this time.


Labor is following the approach of feeding everybody welfare, handouts and payments and expect the economy to recover somehow without practical measures to encourage that recovery.


Labor through its borrowing measures is rapidly expanding and promoting a culture of dependency. Massive Government spending that will say goodbye to initiative in Australia goodbye to self reliance goodbye to charities and the voluntary sector caring for each other. An all powerful all spending Government is now here to spend our way out of trouble. But it will no and it will not be without cost


What about the hundreds of thousands on the unemployment queues? Is 42 billion a good way to support 90,000 jobs. If you accept that this money will support that amount of jobs


The hole in yesterday’s economic and fiscal outlook is a result of a higher than expected increase in the number of people claiming Newstart ie the Dole increasing forecast expenses by $206 million in 2008-09 and $1.095billion in 2009-2010.


There has also been a rise in the number of age pensioners and the average payment amounts they are receiving resulting in gov expenses rising by 76million in 08-09 and $451 million in 2009-10


We know there will be more of this and do we think that the forecasts in the budget will be representative of what happens


And all the while we have a PM writing an essay about the failure of the system that produced so much wealth.  He is completely distracted by ideological discourse.  Not sure if he is acondservative or a socialiast.  Kevin Rudd is writing in his ivory tower about the ills of the free market while allt he while praying, begging and hopping for change in this market.  What he needs to be applying his mind to is the matters which need to be addressed to fix theis financial  crisis.




No bipartisanship or attempt to reach a real solution:


Another example of the Governments falseness in its approach is its blatant partisanship in handling the worst economic crisis in our nations history.  This is no less serious than a national emergency that requires the best and brightest from both sides of politics to cooperate on.  There is no one in this place who could make a case that the coalition has nothing to contribute to this debate. After running the economy so successfully for so long. After the enormous reforming energy that the Deputy Prime Minister acknowledges


We have the longest serving treasurer in our ranks in Oz history.


We have a leader who has real experience in the market and running day to day business matters


They have been ignored in spite of being part of a Government which set up some of the best regulatory frameworks in the world.

A government that was serious about using every at the disposal like Obama is serious in using the republicans to help would embrace the opp and what it can offer at this urgent time of national crisis.


Instead we have a government mired in ideological obsession.



The Government has set a very tight timetable for the parliament to consider these bills, to approve $42 billion, and even more in debt, in less than 48 hours.



This is more a political package than an economic package


Like State Labor Governments, Federal Labor is putting good politics first and good policy second.  What will actually work is never at issue when there is a political crisis for Labor. But fast forward 5 or 10 years and what will you have in Australia with this style of thinking you will have



Individually roads and schools funding are good but not a solution for our economic woes right now


Insulation being rolled out may have a good purpose in normal times but these are not normal times.  I have no doubt that man of these measures are so a desperate Government can be seen to be doing something, anything whether it will actually work or not. 


Simply make a phone call not pay a cent and your home will be insulated says Peter garret, the responsible minister for this bill.   


But that statement is a falsehood. You will pay.  Your children will pay You and your children will pay 100 billion perhaps 200 billion of debt with interest. All that is certain is that all of us will be paying for this Labor debt for a long time to come.


The Largest Government spending binge in Australia’s history will come with the largest price to be paid ever. We may not be able to get out of the hole this Government puts us in for a decade or longer if they continue to spend at this rate without regard for how to pay it back.


I cannot condemn future generations to this debt loaded fate and I will not. I will not vote for measures that no one in the place suggests will drive down unemployment.


I certainly will not support a package that has been politically crafted not economically crafted.  A package that stinks of State Labor Governments and their short sighted approach to Government, use everything at your disposal to stay in office at the expense of good public policy that delivers real outcomes.


The government needs to come into this house and put a package of measures forward that will deal with the eco crises we are about to face, practical measures that can have the support of all us and will provide incentive to the sectors of the economy that require investment.