I spoke with Marius Benson on ABC Radio National about Joe Hockey’s MYEFO, government spending levels and threats to DisabilityCare.
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION
MEMBER FOR FRASER
ABC NEWS RADIO WITH MARIUS BENSON
WENDESDAY, 18 DECEMBER 2013
SUBJECT/S: MYEFO, Coalition spending decisions, Coalition spending cuts, National Disability Insurance Scheme.
MARIUS BENSON: Andrew Leigh, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning, Marius.
BENSON: The MYEFO statement from Joe Hockey yesterday showed that Federal Government spending is running at 25.9 per cent of Australia’s GDP, that is just below the only 26 per cent that was achieved during the GFC when the Rudd Government then was flooding the economy with cash to keep the economy going at a time when the world was contracting. Was 25.9 per cent just too high? Are cuts needed?
LEIGH: Well it depends on which particular programs you’re talking about Marius and politics is always –
BENSON: But before you go to individual programs, is that overall grounds for cuts? Are cuts needed at that level?
LEIGH: But my answer to your question Marius is that you need to think about how government spending is being done. Productive government spending, that’s on things like education, infrastructure like the National Broadband Network, that’s laying the foundations for future prosperity. Cutting that would be a bit like getting rid of your house because you’ve got a mortgage. But you want to think very carefully about items of spending, and one of the things we did in the last term was to achieve the first ever cut in nominal spending by an Australian government in Australian history. In other words, even after inflation, we were spending less in our last year in office than the year before that. That’s very difficult to do, you’ve got to go through the Budget line by line and look at your values and your priorities, and I think now, something like a paid parental leave, $75,000 for millionaires and billionaires to have children, is probably something that Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey ought to rethink. I think now is probably not the time to be going into a program which is going to have probably no impact on productivity or participation if you judge by, say, somebody like Saul Eslake. Continue reading ‘Transcript: Coalition Cuts and the NDIS – ABC Radio National’ »