The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Peter Costello

Peter Costello

Treasurer

11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Transcript of 21/05/01

Transcript No. 2001/056

TRANSCRIPT
of
THE HON PETER COSTELLO MP
Treasurer

Doorstop Interview
Canberra
Monday, 21 May 2001
8.30 am

SUBJECTS: Budget

JOURNALIST:

You have got all the fine tuning of the Budget done?

TREASURER:

Well, we will still do a bit more fine tuning this morning but a good deal of the Budget is now off at the printers and the remaining papers will go to the printers, I hope, by lunchtime today. And this will be a Budget where we start building for the future. We are going to build in important areas for a better Australia in the next century, and we are not going to forget about those people who have helped build Australia in the last century. We are not going to forget those people. But we are going to be very much looking forward to building for the future.

JOURNALIST:

Access Economics says there is a surplus of around $510 million, would that be economically responsible?

TREASURER:

You had better ask Access Economics.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) close to the mark?

TREASURER:

Well look, you have got to remember this. All of the private sector groups put out their position papers so that you people will mention their names on the news and they will get free publicity, and that is what happens in a free-enterprise economy. They put out papers, you mention their names, they get work and they derive income from it. Now, I don’t authorise it, I can’t stop it, good luck to them. They are in the business of advertising and if they can get free publicity on your news media they’d be happy to do so.

JOURNALIST:

But clearly (inaudible) they would be out of business, so are they close to the mark on this occasion?

TREASURER:

Well I’m not sure they are in the business of doing Commonwealth Budgets, are they?

JOURNALIST:

Not about (inaudible)

TREASURER:

No. The Commonwealth does the Budgets and we’ll put down all our papers and you will know all about it tomorrow.

JOURNALIST:

Is there hope for further tax cuts further down the line?

TREASURER:

Tomorrow night’s Budget is going to cut taxes by about $5 billion.

JOURNALIST:

Further income tax cuts?

TREASURER:

Well, we haven’t yet had a year of the last set of income tax cuts. Income tax was cut on 1 July last year by $12 billion, and if you are on average wages, if we had not cut income taxes you would be paying a top marginal rate of 43 cents in the dollar. Now you are paying 30 cents in the dollar. Under Labor, 43 cents in the dollar, now 30 cents in the dollar. So, we are still in the first year of those income tax cuts and tomorrow night’s Budget is going to cut tax further.

It is going to be a big tax cut Budget. We are going to cut company tax, we are going to cut financial taxes, and it is going to be good for the Australian economy.