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

12 June 2011

Doorstop Interview

Brisbane

12 June 2011

SUBJECTS: Carbon Price Assistance; Mortgage Exit Fees; Detention Centres

TREASURER:

I want to say what a privilege it was to be here today with so many people who contributed so much to our state through the floods and cyclone earlier this year. There are plenty of heroes here today. There are people that did extraordinary things to make their community a much better place. It was a real honour to be here, to meet with them, to talk with them, and to recognise what they did to make our state a far better place.

JOURNALIST:

A 2.5 per cent increase per year for pensioners to compensate them for the carbon tax. (Inaudible)

TREASURER:

Well, we've always said that with a carbon price we would provide assistance to families, to households as well as to industry. That's very important, and pensioners are very important. It's very important that we do provide assistance to assist those people when a carbon price is introduced.  So what we've said is that we will provide assistance to pensioners over and above their normal indexation.  As you know we are still drawing up the design of the scheme, when that is available all of those figures will be there for people to see. But just consider this: what we are going to do with a carbon price is that it will be paid by the 1,000 biggest polluters. Well yes, the revenue from that will assist households, and in this case we've said we'll most certainly assist pensioners, and we will assist pensioner over and above their normal indexation. That's very important. Every cent, which will come from the revenue which is paid by the 1,000 largest polluters, will either go to households or will go to assist industry.

JOURNALIST:

And no one is going to be worse off?

TREASURER:

What I'm saying is that we will provide every single cent that is raised from a carbon price from the 1,000 largest polluters in our community to either assist households or to assist industry. All of the detail will be out there. It's very important that people understand that that's what will happen.

JOURNALIST:

Can you make a guarantee though that no one will be worse off?

TREASURER:

  No, what I've said is that we are designing the scheme, we're putting together all of the detail. What we've said today is that of course there will be assistance to pensioners over and above their normal indexation. That is a very important principle on which the scheme is based. We're still going forward, consulting with the community about the design of the scheme, but that's one of the very, very important principles.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) no one will be worse off - that's the whole bottom line, isn't it?

TREASURER:

I'm sorry that is not a valid question because at the moment what we are doing is continuing to design the scheme. What we have said is that we will be providing assistance to households. Every cent raised from the revenue which comes from the 1,000 largest polluters in the community will either go to assist households or will go to assist industry. And it will be generous assistance.

JOURNALIST:

How can you have an open debate if you're only going to release certain parts (inaudible)

TREASURER:

We are having a thorough community discussion. We have formed a variety of groups where we are consulting with industry on the one hand, we are consulting with the wider community, and we're talking about the principles of the scheme. This is the only way to go about putting in place such an important reform which reduces carbon pollution in our economy.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) Are you concerned about smaller lenders (inaudible)

TREASURER:

What I'm concerned about is unfair mortgage exit fees which stop customers from walking down the road and going to another bank to get a better deal.  And that's what unfair mortgage exit fees do. I am just gobsmacked that Mr Hockey and the Liberal Party could talk about bringing back unfair mortgage exit fees as high as $7,000. I think it just shows it's another cheap political stunt from the Liberal Party who are completely out of touch with the needs of bank customers.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible)

TREASURER:

There is no justification for high unfair mortgagee exit fees.  What they do is that they stop competition and they stop customers walking down the road to get a better deal. And for Mr Hockey and the Liberal Party to say they want to bring them back shows just how out of touch they are and how far they are prepared to go with cheap political stunts.

JOURNALIST:

What do you make of yesterday's revelation that you're looking to turn Borallon jail into the latest detention centre?

TREASURER:

Well I think as the State Government has said and the Federal Minister has said we are having discussion with them about these arrangements. No final decisions have been taken as yet. 

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible)

TREASURER:

Well I think we've outlined over a period of time arrangements for detention centres around the country. We're always looking to improve those arrangements. We'll continue those discussions with the State Government Thanks very much.