On 9 October 2013, I joined host Andrew Greene and Liberal MP Andrew Laming on ABC24′s Capital Hill program. Topics included the importance of supporting jobs (including public sector jobs) and Coalition MPs using entitlements to attend weddings and participate in triathlons.
Here’s the full transcript:
ANDREW GREENE: Joining me to discuss the day is Labor MP Andrew Leigh who’s here in Canberra, and Liberal MP Andrew Laming in Brisbane. It’s going to be a bit confusing but welcome to you both.
ANDREW LEIGH: Thanks Andrew.
ANDREW LAMING: Thank you.
GREENE: Before becoming Prime Minister, Tony Abbott declared there was a budget emergency though he has been reluctant to use the phrase since. The Grattan Institute’s John Daley today told the National Press Club there’s no emergency but it is plenty to be worried about.
JOHN DALEY: But there’s no flashing, blue lights. The Australian government budget is not in cardiac arrest on the operating table needing a triple by-pass to keep it alive. We don’t have that kind of emergency but Australian government budgets are unfit, overweight and smoking and now they have high blood pressure and chest pains and most worryingly, I’d suggest, the patient has gone into denial and is eating more cheese.
GREENE: Well, firstly to you, Andrew Leigh in Canberra, we have seen an IMF report released overnight that again is warning of a slow-down in growth, rising unemployment. The current government is dealing with the legacy of Labor, isn’t it?
LEIGH: The figures we’ve seen out of the IMF are broadly are in line with the Treasury updates before the election so I don’t think there’s anything to be surprised about in this. Clearly, risks in Europe with the banking system, risks in the US caused by the extreme wing of the Republicans pushing the country to the shutdown now and potentially even to a default on October 17th. I’m not sure Mr Abbott would be as congenial towards the Tea Party now as he was last year. But certainly it is not a time to be cutting jobs and Mr Abbott’s pledge to cut 12,000 public service jobs is, I think, badly timed. David Johnston’s suggestion that the Government might break its pledge to exempt defence is even more concerning.