SHADOW FINANCE MINISTER AND MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS TONY BURKE: Good morning. Last week in Question Time the Government, when they had their Dorothy Dixer questions, had 21 of them about Victoria. Last week for the entire week, the Federal Government was convinced that they wanted to be 100 per cent part of the Victorian election. The moment the people of Victoria voted they ran a million miles and wanted to say ’nothing to do with us’. It’s yet another example of the Government saying one thing before people vote and the exact opposite immediately after they vote.

Last night, Tony Abbott brought down a video putting out in detail all his achievements for the last twelve months. The video goes for two minutes and fifty-three seconds. But what he hasn’t put in that video is any mention of the fact that there have been cuts to health, cuts to education, changes to pensions, cuts to the ABC and SBS and a petrol tax hike. Example after example of the broken promises that have contributed to the public’s view that this is a government that delivered a budget of broken promises, this is a Prime Minister who cannot keep his word and even on the most basic detail, where they claimed they would bring the budget deficit down, it’s about a year now since Joe Hockey more than doubled Australia’s deficit and we see reports today that it is continuing to blow out of control.

They should release the mini-budget today. They have got the data they need, they should release the mini-budget today, so that we can talk in the Parliament about the issues that they’re wanting to hide about their own mismanagement.

JOURNALIST: At what point do you think Labor will need to start outlining its own savings beyond what you have spoken about so far? I know we’ve heard about Paid Parental Leave, multinational crack down and these sorts of things, but at what point do you think Labor will need to say ‘here are alternatives to the Budget’?

BURKE: Well, let’s not forget we’re still in the first half of the term, we’re still in the first half of the term and you look at the measures where we’ve had significant conflict with the Government -  changes on taxation for high income superannuation, changes for multinationals wanting to park their money into tax havens.  At the same time we’ve had the Government wanting to do a spending blow-out on Paid Parental Leave, getting through on a deal with the cross-benches spending blow-out on what they want to do with their so-called Direct Action measure.

Each of the deals that they have been cutting with the crossbench has been costing the bottom line of the Budget. What this Government has done has been the exact opposite in each area to what they told us right up to the day before the election. And today’s papers, and Chris Bowen will say more about this later today, today’s papers make clear that on the most basic tenet where they claimed, as Tony Abbott claimed in that video message, where they will be going to bring the Budget deficit down, they have actually been blowing it out.


Tony Burke