In April this year, Julie Bishop repeated the claim “We’ve never seen such record levels of debt and deficit as were bequeathed to us by the former Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Government.”
Fact Check had already found that claim to be wrong, but Ms Bishop has continued to repeat it.
At the end of 2015, she even received their coveted golden zombie, for the undead claim of the year.
Kevin Rudd left Tony Abbott a deficit of 1.2 per cent of GDP, net debt of 10 per cent of GDP and gross debt of 16.9 per cent of GDP.
In 1996, John Howard was left a deficit of 2.9 per cent of GDP, net debt of 16.8 per cent and gross debt of 21.3 per cent.
So despite Ms Bishop’s multiple repetitions of the claim, she was, and is still, wrong.
In August, Scott Morrison gave a speech painting a doomsday debt scenario for Australia’s economy.
“As a government, we inherited $240 billion in accumulated deficits and a debt of $317 billion projected to increase to $667 billion over the next 10 years. As a government to date, we have acted to reduce that projected debt by $55 billion.”
Ironically, his claim about $667 billion debt in ten years’ time won the golden zombie award the year before.
As there was a $300 billion debt ceiling in place when Labor were in power, he is also lying about the inherited debt. When the Abbott Government came to power in September 2013, there was $270 billion in Commonwealth securities on issue, not $317 billion as he claims..
It is also hard to understand how they can be reducing debt when they are running deficits.
For the record, PEFO (August 2013) contained a cumulative deficit over the forward estimates of $54.6 billion.
Joe Hockey’s MYEFO (December 2013) inflated this to $122.7 billion, partly due to his policy decisions ($13.7 billion) and partly due to a downgrade of assumptions ($54.3 billion).
Hockey projected a deficit of $47 billion in 2013-14. It ended up $48.5 billion. For 2014-15 his estimate was $33.9 billion. It was $37.9 billion. His 2015-16 estimate was a deficit of $24.1 billion, actual was $39.6 billion. His estimate for 2016-17 has now increased from $17.7 billion to $37.1 billion.
Coalition Ministers continue to deliberately repeat demonstrably false statements, presumably to obfuscate the true results of their stewardship and to create unjustified fear so they can force their agenda through parliament.
Morrison warned the crossbenchers that they must pass whatever legislation the Coalition throws at them or bear the consequences.
“Failure to do so, in the worst-case scenario, will see our gross debt rise to more than $1 trillion — one thousand billion dollars — in the next 10 years.”
Whoa….that’s a big number. We are in dire trouble.
Or are we?
Last week Scott Morrison was in New York giving speeches and talking to anyone who would listen.
“We have a remarkable economic record and we are determined to keep it that way,” Morrison said.
“Australia has just completed twenty five years of uninterrupted annual economic growth.
An entire generation has now grown up in Australia without ever having known a recession. This is despite a GFC, an Asian financial crisis, global terrorism, SARS, one in a hundred year floods, droughts and a thirty per cent fall in our terms of trade.
It is one of Australia’s greatest national achievements and was no accident.”
Hmmmmm….ever feel had?