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

13 May 2008

Doorstop Interview

Parliament House

13 May 2008

SUBJECTS: Budget

TREASURER:

I just wanted to say a couple of words.  This will be a Budget for the next decade, reining in irresponsible spending, tackling inflation, and genuine investment for the future.  There’s not going to be any rabbits out of the hat tonight.  We’re going to keep all of our promises, deliver for working families, and invest in the future.

JOURNALIST:

Are you going to axe work for the dole?

TREASURER:

No, we’re keeping work for the dole.

JOURNALIST:

Are you changing work for the dole?

TREASURER:

We’re certainly keeping work for the dole.  We’re certainly going to invest more in training but we are keeping work for the dole.

JOURNALIST:

Will you be expanding the program?

TREASURER:

We certainly will be expanding programs for the most disadvantaged in the labour market and we will be investing more in training.

JOURNALIST:

Are you going to be naming it something different?

TREASURER:

No, we’re keeping work for the dole.

JOURNALIST:

And will there be a lot more for public hospitals tonight?

TREASURER:

You’ll have to wait and see tonight.  There are some tough decisions.  I think this Budget will be tough but it will be fair.  We are going to invest in public health.  We’re going to invest in education.  We’re going to invest in infrastructure.  As I said, this will be a Budget for the next decade, not the next election.

JOURNALIST:

So, it might take a decade to benchmark whether or not this Budget has been a success?

TREASURER:

I think what people want in Australia is investment for the long term.  They’re sick of the short-termism of the previous government.  They want a government that deals with the challenges of the future, and this Budget will deal with those challenges.  We’ll face those challenges squarely.  We’ll make the investments for the future.  That’s what tonight’s all about.

JOURNALIST:

How did you sleep last night?

TREASURER:

I slept really well last night.  This is the opportunity of a lifetime, an enormous privilege to bring down the first Budget of the Rudd Government, a chance to make a difference, a chance to leave something better for our children, and I take this responsibility very seriously.

JOURNALIST:

Everyone seems to support cuts to middle class welfare until if affects them.  What would your message be to families who wake up tonight and realise that they’re going to miss out on family tax benefits or the baby bonus or some other measure?

TREASURER:

We’ve got to put an end to irresponsible spending.  As I said before, the Budget will be tough but it will be fair.  Some people will make some sacrifices, others will gain.  But I think at the end of the day people will look at this Budget and say it was a tough Budget, a Budget that we needed for the times, but it was fair.

JOURNALIST:

How can you make the cuts and also insulate it at the same time?

TREASURER:

You’ll have to wait and see the Budget tonight.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible)

TREASURER:

You’ll just have to wait and see tonight.

Thanks very much.