Budget doesn't set up Australia for productive and egalitarian future - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 7 OCTOBER 2020

In 2009, the coalition launched their so-called debt truck. It had on the side of it the figure at which debt was then projected to peak—$315 billion. That's a third of projected peak debt under the Liberals today.

If they were being honest then with this budget they would have launched their very own 'debt road train'. What does Australia get for $1 trillion—1 with 12 zeros after it?

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Vale Susan Ryan - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 7 OCTOBER 2020

Susan Ryan was the first in her family and the first in her school to win a scholarship to go to the University of Sydney. She studied education and, like many women of that generation, expected to go on to a career in teaching. After graduating, she married public servant, and later diplomat, Richard Butler. She recalled, 'Because of this, I lost my scholarship and had to pay back the scholarship money,' and she noted that this wouldn't have happened had she been a man.

In 1965, they moved to Canberra. For the next six years, she was active in the ACT, becoming a founding member of the wonderful Belconnen sub-branch of the Labor Party. She spent two periods living overseas when Butler was posted first to Vienna and then to New York. There, she was influenced, as Christine Wallace has noted, by the work of Kate Millett and Betty Friedan—and, of course, Germaine Greer was then part of the mix, along with Gloria Steinem.

Susan returned to Canberra in 1971 with her two children but without Butler, who she divorced the following year.

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Missed opportunities in the Budget - Transcript, 2CC Canberra Live

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2CC CANBERRA LIVE
WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal Budget; the Morrison Government’s lack of investment in education, childcare and productivity; the University of Canberra; the Morrison Government undermining universities; tax cuts.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Last night was budget night, as you know, and Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has promised the earth - but has he delivered anything other than dirt? Well, let's find out what the opinion is of the Opposition. Joining me now Shadow Assistant Minister of Treasury and Federal Member for Fenner Dr Andrew Legh. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. Great to be with you.

DELANEY: Thanks very much for joining us today. Now, obviously, you're in the Opposition. It's your job to oppose and criticise. So let's start with asking the difficult question. Is there anything in last night's budget that you think was bang on, where they hit the nail on the head and they got an absolutely right?

LEIGH: Look, there’s a decent mental health package. I think there's sensible reforms there. There are more university places, though not as many as there should be. And we've been calling for some time for low and middle income earners to get a tax cut sooner, and so we’re pleased that the government’s heeded that call. But with a trillion dollars in debt, I don't think there's enough to show for it. You know, a trillion is a pretty massive number - one with 12 zeros after it. Australia’s never had this much debt before, and yet right across the next four years the government's projecting unemployment will be higher than it was last year. The Morrison Recession is looking like lasting a long time.

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What Did Australia Get for $1 Trillion? - Speech, Institute of Public Accountants Budget Breakfast

WHAT DID AUSTRALIA GET FOR ONE TRILLION DOLLARS?

INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET BREAKFAST

CANBERRA

WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2020

A trillion dollars is a lot of money – one with twelve zeros after it.

That’s where Australia’s debt will peak. To put it in perspective, when the Liberals launched their ‘debt truck’ scare campaign in 2009, they did so with the figure ‘$315 billion’ emblazoned on the side – one third of the level of projected peak debt under the Coalition today.

On the budget forecasts, there are no surpluses forecast anywhere in the 2020s. The one manufacturing industry that does well out of this budget is manufacturers of red ink, because it’s red ink as far as the eye can see.

So the question is, what do we get from that spending and is the spending that’s being done as part of this budget spending that delivers a Keynesian Double? That both stimulates the economy and sets us up for prosperity in the future? That sets us up to build back better?

It’s important to remember that Australia came into this crisis from a position of weakness. Last year, productivity went backwards, investment was in the doldrums, wage growth was among the slowest on record. We had problems in retail and a downturn in construction. Before the Morrison Recession, Australia was in the Morrison Stagnation.

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Coalition Budget fails to forward plan - Transcript, ABC Radio Melbourne

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RADIO MELBOURNE
WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal budget; the Morrison Government’s lack of plan for full employment, for climate change, for universities, for older workers, for childcare, for productivity; the Government’s track record on Sports Rorts, Reef Rorts, HelloWorld, the Paladin scandal, Robodebt and Watergate.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI, HOST: I’ve left Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury waiting, and I apologise Mr Leigh for doing that. But I did want to get a quick response from you to the budget last night. Is it the right amount of money spent the right way?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Hello, Virginia. Great to be with you and your listeners. We’re concerned about the size of the debt that Australia is racking up and what we get for it. So a trillion dollars of debt, but there's no plan for full employment, for climate change, for universities, for older workers, for childcare or for productivity. So we think that if you're going to be racking up that much debt - no surplus until the 2030s at the earliest - you could have gotten more for the economy. We're worried that older workers are being left out, that there's wage subsidies for hiring under-35s but for nearly a million older workers who are on unemployment benefits there's no incentive for employers to bring them on.

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Budget must not increase inequality - Transcript, CNBC

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TV INTERVIEW
CNBC
TUESDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: JobKeeper and the risks of increasing inequality; Labor’s plan for an Australian Centre for Disease Control; the need to invest in education; proposed tax cuts; competition in Australia.

WILL KOULOURIS, HOST: Firstly, in terms of what we've seen from the government in terms of the COVID-19 response - and I suppose from a bipartisan perspective - what do you think that they've gotten right so far?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Australia’s put in place a wage subsidy scheme, which we call JobKeeper, in common with many other countries. It was something the Australian Government was initially hesitant to do. The Labor Party, the business community and the union movement pushed strongly for that to be in place and that's generally regarded as being the most effective measure to reduce the job losses. But we're still in our first recession in a generation, and we came into this off the backs of fairly stagnant economic performance over recent years. Productivity going down, wage growth very slow, problems in retail. So Australia approaches this from a macroeconomic position of weakness rather than strength.

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Budget needs to prioritise jobs - Transcript, 2SM Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 6 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Budget Day; Proposed tax cuts; the need to prioritise jobs and education; Scotty from marketing earning his nickname; Reserve Bank meeting.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, was a professor of economics from the Australian National University and was a principal advisor at Australian Treasury from 2008 through to 2010. And he joins us on the program. Andrew, good morning, mate.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Great to be with you.

PAUL: All right. Look, there's a lot of numbers, figures, all sorts of things being thrown into the mix. But how do you view tonight's announcement by the Treasurer?

LEIGH: I think your point before Marcus about ‘this isn't Scott Morrison's money’, this is money that is going to be paid for by future generations of Australians, is really the salient one. We've got debt going to a trillion dollars, we're going to remember that all this spending is borrowed spending and so it needs to do maximum good in getting the economy going. It's only stimulus when it’s spent, so giving tax cuts that end up being saved isn’t going to create jobs. The priorities have got to be to create jobs and to build back better through the recovery.

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A connected life is a happier life - Transcript, 2CC Canberra Live

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2CC CANBERRA LIVE
TUESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Reconnected; Deliberative democracy and mitochondrial donation reform; the precarious nature of a casualised workforce and the mental health of Australian workers.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: 26 to five on 2CC Canberra Live until six o'clock. You can join this circus anytime you like, 6255 1206. I guess I’m the ringmaster. My next guest is - I don't know - the lion tamer, I guess. Time to welcome to the program to celebrate the news of his brand new book, the Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT, Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. Better a lion tamer than a lion, I suppose?

DELANEY: Well, I don't know exactly. I'm not entirely convinced on that one. But just be thankful I didn't say, you know, clown.

[laughter]

LEIGH: Exactly. Small mercies.

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Government has sad track record on technology - Transcript, Sky News First Edition

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TV INTERVIEW
SKY NEWS FIRST EDITION
TUESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2020

SUBJECTS: The Morrison Government’s woeful track record on technology; the need to invest in education; Terminals/MUA dispute; Reconnected.

PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: Let's go to Canberra now. Joining us live is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good to see you. First of all, let's get your reaction to this announcement coming up today from the Prime Minister.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES:  We've clearly seen rapid uptake in technology. We're probably at 2010 when it comes to globalisation, but at 2030 when it comes to technological uptake. What I worry about from this government though is their track record. You’ve just got to look back at the census fail and the robodebt disaster to worry about the government's ability to really get it right when it comes to technology. Rationalising business registers is something that Parliament passed previously, getting a director identification number is something that should have been done years ago. So some of these measures are reannouncements, to the extent that they’re fresh we’ll obviously look through them carefully. But the best way of getting Australians engaged with technology is to expand education, and right now you're not seeing that with universities. You're not seeing an expansion of universities, which should take place at an economic moment like this.

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From Morrison Stagnation to Morrison Recession - Transcript, 2SM Sydney

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 29 SEPTEMBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Cuts to JobKeeper and JobSeeker; Morrison Stagnation turns into Morrison Recession; the need to invest in education; firms treating JobKeeper like BonusKeeper.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Let's speak to Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury now on this issue, at 12 and a half minutes after seven. Andrew, good morning to you, mate.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. It's great to be with you. 

PAUL: Yeah. Nice to speak to you again. I spoke to Katy Gallagher yesterday and like Katy, you and I go back to Canberra days. How are things?

LEIGH: Canberra’s going well. We’re heading into the ACT election on October 17, and the place is starting to warm up. Spring has sprung. I was out running at 5.30 this morning with the light up and the kookaburras going and the beautiful bush. It's a great place. 

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.