The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

30 March 2010

NO.016

Opposition Leader's Economic Misjudgement on Display Again

The Leader of the Opposition has today provided another alarming demonstration of the risks his economic ignorance and misjudgement pose to the Australian economy.

Instead of putting forward any alternative economic policy, Mr Abbott has used today's address to assert that Australia did not need economic stimulus:

The economic stimulus wasn't necessary to strengthen Australia's economy at a time of global recession"

This directly contradicts Treasury analysis confirming stimulus kept Australia out of recession and saved around 200,000 jobs, near-unanimous endorsement from the business community, as well as the RBA Governor's recent description of stimulus as having "worked a treat".

Mr Abbott has also displayed his chronic misjudgement again by asserting that the Asian Financial Crisis posed a greater risk to the Australian economy than the Global Recession.

This is despite the Global Recession causing the first contraction in the global economy since the Second World War, nearly ten times the carnage to the global stock markets as the Asian Financial Crisis, and 31 of 33 advanced economies falling into recession.

This follows Mr Abbott's spectacular breach of his 'no new tax' promise within five weeks of giving it.

It also comes after Mr Abbott's insistence that Australia should follow the economic example set by New Zealand, despite that country falling into recession, recording five consecutive negative quarters of growth and registering their highest unemployment rate in a decade.

This speech shows again why former Treasurer Peter Costello was right to query whether Mr Abbott has the interest or the ability or the judgement to manage the Australian economy.

Many Australians were already worried Mr Abbott would risk our economy – following this speech they will be absolutely convinced he will.

This speech shows the Coalition's economic problems were not solved with Senator Joyce's demotion - they live on in Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey.

30 March 2010