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 10/05/2005

Doorstop Interview

Ministerial Entrance
Parliament House, Canberra

Tuesday, 10 May 2005
8.45 am

SUBJECTS: Budget

Well tonight’s Budget is focused squarely at the great changes that Australia will be facing in the years ahead and it is designed to help fund our country into the future. To fund it by increasing the opportunity for more people to get into the workforce, helping with childcare responsibilities particularly for mothers, and ensuring that business remains competitive. We can’t fund our future without a strong economy and tonight is all about growing the Australian economy to fund our future and give opportunities to parents, to young people and also to fund services for the old. That is the future, that is the focus of today’s Budget.

JOURNALIST:

Will there be good news for ordinary taxpayers Treasurer?

TREASURER:

I think there will be good news in the Budget in the sense that it will be all about growing a strong economy and giving people the opportunity to participate in work. That is what we are focusing on. The ability to participate in work which is good for people and grows the economy stronger.

JOURNALIST:

Will there be a focus on married, stay-at-home mothers as well?

TREASURER:

There will be a focus on families absolutely, in particular a focus on helping them with childcare responsibilities. As you know, we have a very extensive family tax benefit arrangement and families will be getting that $600 payment again when they file their tax returns, the payment that I announced last year.

JOURNALIST:

Will there be contingencies on them getting back into the workforce, those mothers?

TREASURER:

Well we want to encourage everybody who can work to work. Unemployment today is the lowest it has been in 28 years, there has never been a better chance in the last 28 years to get a job, so now is the time to drive reform further so we can get more people in work.

JOURNALIST:

Will there be a big enough surplus to keep the financial markets happy?

TREASURER:

Well the aim is to produce a surplus budget. There are very few countries in the world that do that. The Americans don’t, the British don’t, the French and the Germans and the Japanese don’t. So, if we can keep our Budget in surplus then Australia will be again leading the world.

JOURNALIST:

Will it be larger than the MYEFO forecast?

TREASURER:

Well you will have to wait until tonight.

JOURNALIST:

Will you be joining us here next year on Budget morning?

TREASURER:

I promise you I am going to be around for a long time. I have been in politics a long time and there is still so much work to be done that I want to make a contribution….

JOURNALIST:

What will be in the…

TREASURER:

…last question.

JOURNALIST:

…Budget for the business community? There hasn’t been much focus on this.

TREASURER:

Good economic policy.