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 09/05/2005

Doorstop Interview

Ministerial Entrance
Parliament House, Canberra

Monday, 9 May 2005
9.20 am

SUBJECTS: Budget

TREASURER:

Tomorrow night’s Budget focuses on giving tens of thousands more Australians opportunity to participate in the economic mainstream of Australian life. It aims to widen participation and share the benefits of a growing economy - with the lowest unemployment in 28 years - with many, many more Australians. We will be putting in place tomorrow responsible measures which will build opportunities for the future. Responsible measures today, opportunities for tomorrow, that is what this Budget is being focused on.

JOURNALIST:

Do those opportunities include tax cuts?

TREASURER:

Well as I said, the focus of the Budget is actually to widen participation for people to participate in the workforce. That is the focus of this Budget…

JOURNALIST:

Is that a yes or a no?

TREASURER:

…there are, well as I said, it is to widen, let me say, this is to widen participation. The tax cuts that were announced last year, will take effect. That is, there will be a tax cut on 1 July 2005 as announced last year. The focus…

JOURNALIST:

Will there be (inaudible)?

TREASURER:

…the focus of tomorrow night will be on getting people out of welfare and into work…

JOURNALIST:

Are you in a position to afford additional tax cuts?

TREASURER:

…because if we can get more Australians to participate in the economic mainstream of Australian life, we will be a stronger economy and the measures of today will build the opportunities of tomorrow.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer will you be looking for savings tomorrow, year one in the three year cycle? Treasurers normally do.

TREASURER:

Responsible measures today for the opportunities of tomorrow. We have got to make sure that we can get our services on a sustainable footing – more people in work, wider participation, a more productive economy. This is what will build the opportunities of tomorrow, that is what we are focused on in the Budget.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer do the opinion polls bother you showing that you are far less popular that John Howard?

TREASURER:

Well tomorrow’s Budget will be absolutely focused on doing what is right for Australia. That is what we are focused on at the moment, that is the focus of this week. We are building opportunities for future Australians…

JOURNALIST:

Will it be your last Budget Treasurer?

TREASURER:

…and in relation to that we will be doing the right thing. I want to make this point, the people of Australia expect us to deliver opportunity and we will be delivering opportunity in tomorrow night’s Budget which is what we are absolutely focused on.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer do you agree with the general proposition that lower taxes encourage participation in the labour force?

TREASURER:

Well, participation can be encouraged in many, many ways. I think the most important thing is to have a system where those of working age are encouraged to look for work. At the moment we have hundreds of thousands of Australians of working age who have got no obligation to look for work even though they are capable of it and that is going to be the focus tomorrow. Thanks.