2014 Budget

This MPI is not a story of cuts; it is a story of Labor's record on debt, tax and deficits. It is a horrible history of Labor mismanagement and horrid economic planning. So, mums and dads watching at home, send your children out of the room now, because you are about to hear some figures and I do not want you swearing in front of your children, and neither do I want your children realising the full extent of the debt they are going to inherit from Labor and what that means in terms of the work they are going to have to do to pay off Labor's debt. I do not want the toddlers and teenagers of Australia having nightmares because of Labor's debt and all the work they are going to have to do.

So, let us have a discussion about the figures—the truth about the inheritance Labor gave to us in September last year, when they were finally booted out of office. Labor initially forecast a surplus of $5.4 billion for the 2013-14 financial year and kept this forecast surplus for eight successive budget updates. The final figure was $48.5 billion in deficit. From 2008-09 to 2013-14, Labor delivered six successive deficits, totalling $240 billion, and we have many more to come, because of their mismanagement. If we include 2013-14, Labor left the government with future deficits of $123 billion up to the forward estimates for 30 June 2017. If no policy action was taken by Tony Abbott and the coalition to repair the budget position that the government inherited from Labor—and the Greens; I will give them a mention here too—gross debt would have spiralled to $667 billion over the medium term and would have continued to grow. That is the equivalent of $25,000 for every Australian.

This is Labor's legacy of debt for all Australians. But Labor do not want to talk about this. They do not want to talk about their six years in power. It is almost like the forgotten history of Australia in terms of the textbooks that Labor want to write. It costs $1 billion a month to pay the interest on Labor's record debt. This will be $2.8 billion a month in 10 years if nothing changes.

The independent budget office stated that 'without action Australia's debt will grow at one of the fastest rates in the developed world'. We have to make savings. If we do not make savings, this country will be in real trouble. So we want to make savings that should see us save money that could construct 15 new teaching hospitals every year—savings of $16 billion over 10 years. That is more than the cost of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and higher education spending.

On the eve of the 2013-14 federal election, then Treasurer Chris Bowen had to go even further in his 2013 economic statement by writing down receipts a further $7.8 billion for 2013-14 and over $33 billion across the then forward estimates. This government—Tony Abbott's government, Joe Hockey's government, Julie Bishop's government, Warren Truss's government—inherited a shambles of a budget, a weakening economy and rising unemployment. This government had to take immediate action to address a number of unresolved issues inherited from Labor. This includes injecting $8.8 billion to restore the Reserve Bank of Australia's capital buffer after Labor ripped out $5.2 billion in dividends; providing $571 million in 2013-14 and $2 billion over the forward estimates to fix Labor's funding shortfall for offshore processing of illegal maritime arrivals; funding Public Service agencies to meet the cost of Labor's unfunded redundancies arising from their hidden job cuts; and clearing 96 announced but unlegislated tax and superannuation measures that included measures announced to boost the budget bottom line, even though these measures could never be delivered or would damage the economy. Labor left Australia with no plan to fund the future and address their unsustainable spending trajectory over the medium term.

This government is implementing a serious economic action strategy to repair the b udget and strengthen our nation's finances. We are going to make sustainable spending promises. We are going to deliver r ecord infrastructure investment—which, as a Queenslander, I am very happy about in terms of the work that is going to happen on the Gateway and on the Bruce Highway. We are going to create new jobs and bring the b udget back to surplus over the medium term.

This government has been taking responsible and methodical action. The adults are back in charge, clean ing up Labor's mess, cleaning up Labor's debt and d eficit disaster and get ting the budget back under control.