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THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
3AW WITH NICK MCCALLUM, DARREN JAMES AND JOHN HOWSON
SUNDAY, 25 MAY 201

SUBJECT / S: Tony Abbott’s Budget of Broken Promises; Asylum seekers;
Cuts to eduction nd uni!ersity fee increses; "milies in #ublic life$

HOST! Last week we spoke to Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the federal Budget,
here’s some of what happened:

T%&' ABB%TT (AU)*%+: You cannot spend what you haven’t got, and you can’t
borrow what you can’t repay. And if a Government spends money today, it’s either
got to be paid for by today’s taxes or tomorrow’s taxes.

HOST! Joining us now the federal pposition Leader Bill !horten" Mr !horten, good
morning" #o you agree with that statement$

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION! % think this whole federal Budget
by Tony Abbott has shown that this is a &o'ernment who is willing to break its
promises and tell lies before the ele(tion"

HOST! )o, that’s not the point" The point is, he said you’'e got to pay it e'en today
or put if off til tomorrow" !o it’s not about broken promises, it’s about how do we pay
the debt" *hat would you do to pay the debt$

SHORTEN! Let’s +ust deal with ea(h of those points you +ust made" %f you ask me do
% agree with Tony Abbott, that you’'e got to pay debts, yes % do" % don’t think you
need to be Prime Minister of Australia to work that out" But if you’re asking me if %
support the Budget, whi(h is going to see our pensioners slugged, going to see
Medi(are with new ta,es, going to see petrol go up for a (ooked up Budget (risis
whi(h % think is e,aggerated by this &o'ernment, that’s what % really think" % think this
&o'ernment has gone too hard, % think it shows - % think Australia in the last fortnight
has had a good look at Tony Abbott’s Budget and they don’t like it"

HOST! Mr !horten, the defi(it ta,, ob'iously % think is a broken promise" But there is
e'ery indi(ation - and % belie'e Penny *ong also indi(ated this morning - that you
will support it in the !enate" *hy$

SHORTEN! .irst of all, it is a broken promise, absolutely" % think about / per (ent of
Australia earn more than 0123,333, they’re going to ha'e to pay more in(ome ta," %
mean thought it was the Liberal &o'ernment who said they were for lower ta,es and
Labor wasn’t, and this (learly shows that old myth is +ust a fairytale" But when you
4uite rightly say well, 5what’s Labor going to do on it,’ there’s so mu(h to oppose in
this Budget, and going ba(k to something whi(h one of your panellists said earlier,
5what would you do$’ *e don’t support the defi(it le'y or new in(ome ta,es on
people who go to work, but with our s(ar(e politi(al (apital, our priority is to stand up
for lower and middle in(ome earners"

HOST! A" what point, and % mean % mentioned this is a diffi(ult one for you guys, at
what point do you blo(k indi'idual bits of the Budget, before you end up blo(king
supply$ *hi(h of (ourse for the Labor party is a horrendous thought" #o you ha'e to
be (areful$

SHORTEN! There are different bits of legislation and you’re 4uite right with your
4uestion to highlight the fa(t that there is plenty of detail and different laws whi(h will
(ome into the parliament" !ome of the (hanges whi(h Tony Abbott wants to
introdu(e into his Budget won’t re4uire a passage of law, it will get there" thers, the
&reens ha'e said they’ll support" Again, % think that’s pretty ironi( - remember Tony
Abbott used to (arry on a fair bit about Labor 'oting with the &reens$ %t’ll be Liberal
'oting with the &reens to gi'e e'ery motorist a new petrol ta," There are some whi(h
we won’t support but we’re not going to die in a dit(h o'er, and there will be other
measures we oppose" %n terms of the a(tual supply bill, what Labor has had a
traditional (on'entional ob+e(tion to is when the &o'ernment of the day needs
money to pay its pensions, its publi( ser'ants, you wouldn’t blo(k them" !o yeah
sure it’s a mo'ing feast, but some of the prin(iples that we would adopt - % think
though what has been interesting is that so many Liberals ha'e either been missing
in a(tion on the Budget" % mean, where’s Mal(olm Turnbull, he hasn’t e,a(tly worked
up a sweat selling his former ri'al’s Budget" And there are others 4uietly
ba(kgrounding +ournalists saying they think it’s gone too far" !o %’m not sure how
mu(h of this Budget we’'e heard about a fortnight ago will e'en get presented to the
parliament" % mean, 6hristopher Pyne and Peter #utton, the 7ealth Minister, ha'e
said that they’re prepared to negotiate, so 8

HOST! *ill you negotiate with them$ Are you prepared to negotiate on things like
interest rates on 796!, say for instan(e, whi(h Mr Pyne has indi(ated that he would
negotiate$

SHORTEN! *e’re prepared if the Liberal &o'ernment is going to agree with us" *e
don’t think that they should in(rease the interest rate on loans to students" % think
sometimes in Australia we take our good fortune for granted, and one of the things of
our good fortune is that (hildren, no matter what their ba(kground, ha'e an
opportunity to better themsel'es in life" And what will happen with the in(rease of
uni'ersity fees and the (utting of uni'ersity funding 8 and there’ll be lots of parents
listening to this show today li'ing from modest means" % mean they’re not li'ing in
Toorak, but they’re reasonably well off or they li'e in the bush and they’ll be saying
5well, will we be able to afford to send our kids to uni'ersity$’ This is where this
terrible po'erty of 'ision in the Abbott &o'ernment’s Budget has gone - we’re
(reating two Australias" % ha'e to say that surely there is a smarter way to run this
(ountry than (reating an under(lass" % mean, this idea that we’re not going to pay the
unemployed anything for si, months, this will lead people to begging and worse"

HOST! Just to point that out, that’s +ust for the youth, it’s +ust for people under /3, it’s
not uni'ersal, it’s the youth"

SHORTEN! % know it is for people under /3, but %’m not sure - if you’re :;, the bills
aren’t any (heaper, the food, the (an of baked beans doesn’t get a dis(ount be(ause
you’re under /3"

HOST! *ell the 4uestion will be for many people - an pposition should oppose,
that’s fair enough - but what would you do if you were in &o'ernment to get rid of
the debt$

SHORTEN! *ell, first of all, we would drop this paid parental lea'e s(heme whi(h is
going to (ost 0:: billion o'er the ne,t four years" <eally, is there a (ase to be made
to pay millionaires an e,tra 0=3,333$

HOST! )o"

SHORTEN! !o there’s 0:: billion" The go'ernment wants to remo'e the means
testing of pri'ate health insuran(e" And we want to en(ourage - we get that people
should be en(ouraged to ha'e pri'ate health insuran(e" But if you’re earning a
4uarter of a million or a million dollars, you probably don’t need a ta,payer funded
subsidy to help you buy your health insuran(e" !o that’s probably worth another 0/
billion" But then again, % ha'e to say, we (an find some sensible sa'ings, my
proposition though is Tony Abbott and Joe 7o(key, they’re the Prime Minister and
the Treasurer of Australia, we’re not going to be as ruthlessly negati'e as they were
in pposition" But this is not a good 'ision underpinning this Budget" *hen all is said
and done, we didn’t ask Tony Abbott before the last ele(tion to say that there’d be no
(uts to health and edu(ation, we didn’t ask him to say there’d be no (uts to the
pension, we didn’t ask him to say a range of the promises - no in(reases in ta,es" %
remember he used to gi'e Julia &illard a tremendously hard time for breaking an
ele(tion promise" Tony Abbott has broken more promises than plates at a &reek
wedding"

HOST! k, gi'e us two measures in the Budget you will try to blo(k in the !enate the
Labor party will try to blo(k in the !enate$

SHORTEN! *e’re not interested in a &P ta, 8

HOST! >ep, so that’s the 0? (o8payment, you mean$

SHORTEN! >es" And the new ta, on petrol, we don’t see that that’s the right thing to
do"

HOST! k so those two you will oppose in the !enate, and that of (ourse means
they ha'e to go to the (rossben(hers to try and get through"

SHORTEN! >es" And again, for listeners who say 5oh my goodness, it’s two sides of
politi(s banging on, why (an’t they +ust get on’ we understand that there’s a sensible
task to be done with the Budget, but we don’t belie'e that the fair go in Australia and
the safety net should be undermined" *e don’t belie'e that broken promises and lies
before the ele(tion should be allowed to translate to a permanent under(lass in
Australia like they ha'e in other (ountries"

HOST! 6onsidering the fa(t - % mean you’re the new pposition, good lu(k to you,
you know, let’s ha'e a (lean slate" *hat happened before you be(ome pposition
Leader is done" %n retrospe(t, do you regret the sort of spending that went on under
the pre'ious Labor &o'ernment$ % mean there was some horrendous wastes of
money that went on" % mean the fa(t that we (an'assed Afri(a and god knows where
to get a seat on the !e(urity 6oun(il, a temporary seat" The fa(t that we ga'e money
to the 6aribbean, millions and millions of dollars for them to fight (limate (hange" %
mean there was a lot of money gi'en away with great abandon, do you regret all that
spending$

SHORTEN! % think it’s fair to say that the pink batts program, whi(h is probably the
highest profile one, where there was a lot of spending to help the e(onomy and the
insulation in people’s roofs, that was rolled out far too 4ui(kly, and we’'e seen the
terrible and tragi( (onse4uen(es" Anyone who says that they’'e done e'erything
right after their time in &o'ernment is a fool" But ha'ing said that, % also must submit
to you that Australia had a triple A (redit rating at the end of Labor’s time, whi(h it
didn’t ha'e when they (ame into power" There were nearly a million +obs (reated,
about a million +obs (reated during the global finan(ial (risis in Australia, where /3
million +obs were shed in other parts of the de'eloped world" There’s always a +ob to
be done and people (an always do better, but % ha'e to say when it (omes to this
&o'ernment and what they said and did before the ele(tion to what they are doing
now, % am appalled that the best they (an do is hit low and middle in(ome earners
and family payments, to uni fees and to Medi(are and to petrol and to the pension"

HOST! ne 4uestion" The boats ha'e stopped, so % belie'e that there should be
amnesty to e'erybody who is in detention at the moment" &i'e them amnesty, (lear
the de(ks and say that’s it, we’'e gi'en you amnesty to suitable people to (ome and
li'e in Australia, fair enough, and we’'e (leaned the de(ks" *hat would you do when
you be(ome Prime - if you be(ome Prime Minister - what would you do to keep the
boats stopped$

SHORTEN! % think regional resettlement, started by Labor, has worked" %t does
dis(ourage people (oming through the people smugglers" *e don’t want people
drowning at sea and being e,ploited - their desire to ha'e a better life - being
e,ploited by people putting them on unsafe boats" !o regional resettlement is a big
part of Labor’s strategy for boats" And we are wat(hing what the &o'ernment does
'ery (arefully, in terms of what they’re getting done and what they’re telling people"

HOST! And Mr !horten, %’'e got to ask you about the front page of the 7erald !un
today" *hat was your rea(tion when you read Tim Mathieson’s atta(k on Margie
Abbott$

SHORTEN! % thought it was way out of line" Tim Mathieson got a hard time when he
was Julia &illard’s partner, but % don’t think that Margie Abbott is a legitimate target"
!o no % don’t agree with what Tim said, % felt for the Abbotts on that one"

HOST! %t’s not fair to atta(k .ran(es Abbott either, % think keep families out of it, keep
families out of it"

SHORTEN! %’m in publi( life so % ha'e that 'iew" % pra(ti(e that 'iew, yeah and % get
that Tim got a hard time, and he did, but what % also belie'e is that - if you’re dealing
with Tony Abbott, there’s plenty to disagree with if you’re thinking about politi(s, %
don’t think Margie or his daughters fall into that (ategory at all, they shouldn’t be in
the politi(al firing line"

HOST! And neither should your family"

SHORTEN! And nor - that’s right" % didn’t like it when it happened to Tim, and % don’t
like it now"

HOST! % re(kon the last time we spoke to you, or one of the last times we spoke to
you, you were at the start of a fun run" Are you still running$ %s there enough time to 8


SHORTEN! >eah, % got a little bit of bron(hitis, but yeah % ha'e a done a few, but %’m
not going to set any land speed re(ords"

HOST! )o but at least you’re out there ha'ing a (ra(k"

SHORTEN! >eah it’s really good" But %’m going off to see Little League so((er now,
out in &ladstone Park, it’s a sunny day in Melbourne" %t’s a good normal !unday"
Then % go to 6anberra"

HOST! And you ha'e an abnormal week" 7ey good to talk to you, thanks for making
yourself a'ailable this morning"

SHORTEN! Lo'ely, take (are, thank you"
E&)S