10 May 2017
Transcript - #2017084, 2017

Interview with Jonesy & Amanda, WSFM 101.7

SUBJECTS: Budget 2017

AMANDA KELLER:

Now, according to Treasurer, Scott Morrison, the tough times are over, better days are ahead. He’s handed down his Federal Budget. It’s all about being fair and square, he says. He’s joining us right now. Good Morning, Treasurer.

TREASURER:

Good morning Amanda, good morning, Jonesy.

BRENDAN JONES:

Hello ScoMo. The Sharks are still premiers, my man!

TREASURER:

They are mate, they are.

JONES:

They’re still premiers.

TREASURER:

It’s still sweet.

KELLER:

Do we still have to talk about it?

JONES:

I’ll just say this to you Scott. Amanda says we got to get over it and stop talking about it, and I say until there is another premiership, then we’ve got carte blanche.

KELLER:

And you’ve got a year you think.

JONES:

Yeah!

TREASURER:

We’re still rapped. But today I’m rapped about the fact that we’re really supporting Australians right across the country. Whether it’s on their Medicare, or whether it’s on their schools, and really importantly on the helping of disabled Australians. You know, 500,000 Australians who will benefit from the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and last night I announced we were going to fully fund that and we’re calling on all Australians to support us in that, and in two years’ time, they’ll be joining with other Australians to ensure that people are in a position to get the support they need.

KELLER:

I think you’d be a hard hearted person not to support that. We have been giggling this morning at the front page of the Daily Tele. Have you seen it this morning?

TREASURER:

Yeah, I have!

KELLER:

For the people who haven’t seen it, there’s a picture of you dressed, are you maybe being Willy Wonka? I’m not sure, but there’s a unicorn, and you're sort of…

JONES:

In a tree.

KELLER:

A flute holding hippy in a way.

TREASURER:

Yeah, I think there might need to be a bit of testing going on down there at the Daily Telegraph editor’s page, I think with that one.

KELLER:

Well we can’t see that it says it’s…

TREASURER:

Flower children I think, sort of effort.

KELLER:

That’s right, it doesn’t, we can’t see where it says it’s been digitally altered.

JONES:

Usually they say ‘digitally altered’. So are these your feet? Because you have really good looking feet.

TREASURER:

Well, I’ll take them, I think. I’ll take the feet!

JONES:

They’re totally hairless, so you know if this all fails, you could be a foot model!

TREASURER:

That’s true! I’ll keep that in the bottom draw.

KELLER:

Well let’s look at some of the things the Government’s proposing here. A great tax on banks, no one’s going to complain about that. But, all those taxes will then be passed onto us, it’s inevitable and they’ve pretty much said so, that we’re going to cop that anyway.

TREASURER:

Well this is a very small levy on the banks: its 0.06 of a per cent. So if banks are going to go around and hit their customers, then what they’ll be doing is what they want to do anyway and I think that would be a very dishonest thing for the banks to do, and I think that would just confirm in everybody’s minds why they’re so angry at the banks. Now, the ACCC, our regulator, our competition regulator, will be watching the banks on that and they’ll be policing that they can’t lie to customers about why they’re changing their prices because this levy is not on people’s deposit accounts, it’s not on their mortgages. It’s not even on the shares held by the shareholders. What this is is a levy on all the liabilities they raise on doing business with other banks. So it’s consistent with things that are being done all around the world. We’ve got to get the Budget back into balance which we do in this Budget in a few years’ time, and the banks, they can pay their fair share.

JONES:

And welfare drug testing. A lot of the critics are saying this is imposing on people’s civil rights almost.

KELLER:

Or stigmatising people who are vulnerable already.

TREASURER:

Well, we don’t want to do any of those things. This is a small trial to see if this can work. I mean, eight out of 10 Australians go to work every day and they do that to pay for our welfare bill and we want to make sure that we get as many people off welfare and into work and where there are Australians who are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, and that’s stopping them from getting into a job, well this is another way where we’re looking at to see if we can help them do that, get off the drugs, get off and manage their alcohol abuse problems and be able to get into jobs and get off welfare.

KELLER:

You’ve said that we’ll be in surplus by 2020. Labor promised surplus and failed. This is just great ammo for bickering in Parliament. Do you think you can do it? And why would you say you could?

TREASURER:

Well, the projection is very clear and the assumptions we’ve made, unlike the Labor Party when they were in Government, are very modest. They’re very conservative and that’s been respected by the international ratings agencies in the past. In fact we’ve taken an even more conservative view in this Budget than we did just six months ago, when all of the ratings agencies affirmed our AAA credit rating. So, this is a responsible path back to a balanced Budget in 2020-21. It’s also a very fair way back to a balanced budget. We had to deal with those things that were being blocked in the Senate. No use crying over spilt milk on that, you’ve just got to get on and do the job. You’ve got forget all the politics. Australians just want to focus, and what us to focus on what’s important to them and that’s what we’ve done in this Budget.

KELLER:

Thanks Treasurer.

JONES:

Thank you.