“…Today marks the 10th anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s infamous $42 billion stimulus package. It was a dark day in Australia’s history when the economic surplus that the Howard government had prudently built up over 11 years was scandalously frittered away.
And the interest on the government’s ballooning debt kept growing, which is why a legislated debt ceiling of $75bn was introduced in 2008. Undeterred, Labor’s addiction to profligate spending continued and that figure was lifted to $250bn in 2011 and raised again to $300bn in 2012.
The blowouts continued in a patchwork of reckless spending totalling tens of billions of dollars, including a wishlist of off-balance-sheet initiatives that crudely attempted to hide the true picture.
Now debt stands at more than $530bn. That’s in excess of 29 per cent of GDP, much worse than the legacy of Gough Whitlam’s financially illiterate Labor government at the time of the dismissal in 1975 (21.6 per cent of GDP).
With burgeoning Coalition government spending and its accompanying interest payments showing no signs of appreciably slowing down, it’s time to put the brakes on.The long-term consequences of this cavalier approach to intergenerational debt is clear.
Look what happened to some of the poorer European countries that couldn’t keep their spending and debt under control — economic collapse and all of the accompanying social problems that result.
Looking past the forward estimates, the latest government figures show we are heading for a mind-boggling debt of $684bn in 10 years.
This is simply unsustainable.
It’s clear that the Coalition government has as little regard as Labor for the cost of our ballooning debt and the long-term consequences. Both want to kick the can down the road for future generations and future governments to deal with. We owe more to our children than this.
After 10 years of empty promises about a budget surplus being “just around the corner”, we need a serious reality check. It’s clear that fiscally responsible government starts with the Australian Conservatives. That’s why next week I’ll be introducing a private member’s bill to reinstate the federal government’s debt limit and to cap it at $600bn in an attempt to stop the cycle of Liberal and Labor debt and deficit that is now threatening to spiral out of control…” Debt addiction taking it’s toll