Putting Facts Before Fear in Economic Debates

I was astounded today when the opposition voted against my motion recognising the strong Australian economy and requesting we put facts before fear in economic debates.

My media release on it is as follows:
Dr Andrew Leigh MP
Member for Fraser


16 August 2012

Tony Abbott opposed to using facts in economic debates

The House of Representatives today passed a Private Member’s Motion moved by Member for Fraser, Dr Andrew Leigh. The Private Member’s Motion recognised the strength of the Australian economy and called upon all Members to approach economic debates with facts rather than fear.

Tony Abbott and the opposition voted against the motion.

“It appears that Tony Abbott and the opposition are either opposed to the facts of the strong Australian economy, or alternatively they’re opposed to using facts in economic debates,” said Dr Leigh.

“As an economist I’m astounded by the level of economic ignorance displayed by Tony Abbott and the opposition. Deliberately misleading the Australian public and our international trading partners by refusing to use facts in a debate is reckless and dangerous.”


Text of Private Member’s Motion:

A Strong Australian Economy

I move: That this House:
(1) notes that:
(a) by historical standards, unemployment, inflation and interest rates are at very low levels;
(b) for the first time in Australian history, Australia has a AAA rating from all three major credit rating agencies;
(c) Australia’s debt levels, despite the hit to revenues from the global financial crisis, are around one tenth the level of major advanced economies;
(d) OECD Economic Outlook 91 confirms that the Australian economy will significantly outperform OECD economies as a whole over this year and next; and
(e) the IMF has said of Australia: ‘we welcome the authorities’ commitment to return to a budget surplus by 2012-13 to rebuild fiscal buffers, putting Commonwealth government finances in a stronger position’; and
(2) calls upon all Members to approach economic debates with facts rather than fear, and to put the national interest first when discussing the strong Australian economy.

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