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 04/10/2007

Doorstop Interview
Brisbane Convention Centre

Thursday, 4 October 2007
12.35 pm

SUBJECTS: Childcare, Queensland, pulp mill, Election ‘07

TREASURER:

…that is the cost of childcare and a 30 per cent tax rebate for out-of-pocket expenses. For 95 per cent of Australians that is better than tax deductibility. And if you were to swap the current system for tax deductibility, most people would be worse off. The only people that would be better off would be people earning over $190,000, which is not many Australian families.

JOURNALIST:

Does that suggest your backbenchers who are reportedly putting pressure on you are out of touch?

TREASURER:

No, it is just something that we have looked at very carefully and we have decided to benefit the overwhelming majority of Australian families and particularly to benefit middle and lower income families. Middle and lower income families who are on lower tax rates wouldn’t get as much out of tax deductibility as they get out of a 30 per cent rebate.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Swan says that you have only spent 1 per cent of the last 11 years here in Queensland and you are only here now because there is an election looming.

TREASURER:

Well of course, Mr Swan’s arithmetic is pretty bad and if you want an explanation as to why he is not up to being Treasurer, it is in his basic arithmetical mistakes. I think this is the fifth time I have been here this year and I also had my holidays here and I also brought the APEC Finance Ministers Meeting to Queensland, the most important international gathering of Finance Ministers we have had here in Australia. So I think he has got his figures wrong.

JOURNALIST:

You were out in the bush with me too, for a couple of days.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, it has been announced the Tasmanian pulp mill will be built, what is the economic impact of that going ahead?

TREASURER:

Look I think provided this pulp mill meets the world’s best environmental standards, and they will be the conditions that are put on it, it will be a good thing for job opportunities in Tasmania. This is an area of Australia where families are looking for work and I think it will give some good job opportunities to those people that live in the area but it has to be done in a way which protects the unique environment.

JOURNALIST:

Okay. And internal Labor polling has shown Joe Hockey is at risk of losing his seat to the Labor candidate, Labor says it is because of his push for WorkChoices. Do you agree with that or what would you put it up to?

TREASURER:

Oh look, I think the polls are going to bounce around. The only one that counts is election day and we will wait for the election. Thanks.