15 April 2016
Media Release - #2016039, 2016

Labor’s sham costings and policy stunts exposed

Tony Jones highlights the sham of Labor’s costings and cynical election driven policy strategy –

TONY JONES: Simply add it up, if you like. I mean, your claim that the Government cut $80 billion in protected health and education spending, you're gonna put that back into budget revenue, aren't you, so that's $80 billion of $100 straight away, isn't it?

TONY JONES: So we don't know if you're gonna replace the whole $80 billion - is that what you're saying?

TONY JONES: But you can't complain about the Government cutting $80 billion of projected spending and then not replace it if you say that money was necessary.

TONY JONES: So - but you are saying - you are saying effectively that the $80 billion that you say the Government cut out of spending, you won't be replacing it, necessarily?

TONY JONES: OK. But there are some dubious projections on which you're $100 billion figure is based. Can you guarantee that you're going to raise all that money over the 10-year period?

TONY JONES: I mean, if you want complete transparency and you don't want people to be dubious about 10-year projections on budget savings, 10-year projections which are quite unusual, why don't you release it?

TONY JONES: Well except for this: one of our biggest budget savings measures - $48 billion nearly of the $100 billion - is for taxing smokers. Now, smokers are going to stop smoking over time if they follow your policy, so how can you guarantee that this is going to be a growth tax that raises that much money over 10 years?

TONY JONES: OK, but the PBO's costing guidelines are set out on their website and they say you can't - you can only really be confident of revenue measures in the current year and the following three years. You're aware that it says that on their website?

TONY JONES: But the question is: did they put that caveat in the document that you won't release?

TONY JONES: But you can guarantee that document from the PBO doesn't contain a caveat saying that these projections can't be guaranteed over 10 years?

TONY JONES: Well I'm asking you about it now and I'd like to see the documents on which you're basing it.

TONY JONES: Well, I did have a question, but you haven't answered whether you're gonna release that document.

TONY JONES: OK. Alright. So let's go to negative gearing, which you just mentioned. Did you realise when you adopted your negative gearing changes that they would cause house prices to fall?

TONY JONES: Well how do you counter this basic argument, that as a result of your changes, a new house would lose value just like a new car does the moment you put the key in the door and occupy it?

TONY JONES: No, I'm just saying there is a simple equation on this. Isn't it [Banking Royal Commission] designed to counter the political effect of the unions royal commission?

TONY JONES: I'm talking about the timing. I mean, last year you voted against it. You say you were still deciding. Were you actually deciding to wait until an election campaign so we can use this to outweigh or balance against the union royal commission results?

TONY JONES: Well let me ask you the obvious question then: why do you need a royal commission to reform the financial sector? If you're in government, you can just legislate to do that.

SOURCE: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2015/s4443619.htm

Chris Bowen failed to adequately answer any of these questions.