Bill's Transcripts

Channel Ten Wake Up





SUBJECT/S: The Abbott Government’s Budget of Twisted Priorities and Broken Promises.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten is at Parliament House and he joins us now. Good morning, Mr Shorten.


BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning James, good morning, Natarsha.


HOST: Now what do you make of the Coalition’s first Federal Budget, we’ve heard a lot of spin from both sides but at the core what’s your major criticism?


SHORTEN: It’s a budget which breaks all of the promises. It’s built on lies. It’s going to put up the cost of living for ordinary Australians. You will have got to pay more for your petrol, more to go to the doctor and the pensioners have copped it in the neck from this government and this is a budget which doesn't help Australia and just hurts a lot of people.


HOST: The Government, though, Mr Shorten, argues that this is about being a responsible government and handing down a responsible budget and it is about pain with purpose. Don't we have to be responsible? We can't always live in debt.


SHORTEN: Well, first of all, we’ve always got to be making sure that we in the medium term can balance up our budget, in terms of outlays and revenues. We all get that, all Australians get that. But let's not have Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott lecture Australians about what they are doing to create, you know, what ordinary Australians have to do to try and take the pain to meet Tony Abbott's manufactured crisis. There is no political emergency or crisis or budget crisis in Australia which would justify wrecking Medicare, which says that you’ve got an output on the table - pensioners having a real cut effectively over the next number of years in terms of their pension. This is a conflated nonsense emergency just so this government can weasel out of its election promises. Never forget they promised before the election - Tony Abbott said it, I’ve memorised his quote. He said, ‘No cuts to health, no cut to education. No changes to the pension ‘ and he said ‘no new taxes’.


They’re all lies, he's broken his word to the Australian people and we’re not going to simply give him a tick for that.


HOST: Now it’s been predicted that the Coalition’s going to have a bit of trouble getting these, a number of these proposals through the Senate. What are the key budget announcements that Labor, you think at this stage, will be willing to block?


SHORTEN: Well I am really concerned for families and for pensioners. They are a really important part of what make this country a great country. You know, I saw that clip before where you had Vilma on just pulling up the Prime Minister about his broken promises. Pensioners don't earn a lot of money. Where does Tony Abbott get off saying that in 2017 he's going to reduce the amount of money effectively that pensioners get? The guy is out of touch. So we are not interested in making life harder for pensioners.

SHORTEN: The other thing which we are really red-hot on and we will fight and fight and fight about is this new GP tax. Medicare is what makes our health system one of the best in the world, much better than, say, America, where the only way you get proper health care is if you’re rich. Now what Tony Abbott said and this is what’s going to affect families watching the show, is he’s said that is going to, he wants to tax you more to go to the doctor and he wants to undermine this bulk-billing. How on earth does it help the health system to stop sick people from going to see the doctor because a lot of people who are battling to make ends meet are going to say, ‘Oh, I know my child has got a cough, it might be asthma, but you know, it’s hard this fortnight to pay these bills?’ Or if, you know, your ageing parents have got osteoporosis or you have got diabetes you think, ‘Well, I’ve also got to pay my power bills’. This Government’s out of touch, I wish they’d been straight before the last election and told the people the truth. But one thing’s for sure, there’s no budget emergency which justifies Tony Abbott breaking his solemn promises to the Australian people.


HOST: Mr Shorten, if you can just answer these questions with a yes or no it would be great.




HOST: Are you going to block then the debt levy and also the proposal with paying for the GP, although that money will go to medical research? Will you block this?


SHORTEN: Okay, there are a couple of questions there. Like the idea of health research, but, no, we don't think that sick people should have to pay more to go to the doctor on a tax so that will be a no.


In terms of the debt levy, that is a broken promise, we will come up with a final position on that. We haven't got that yet. It is a broken promise. Our priority, though, is middle income, lower income people, we are the Labor Party and we believe in universal health care. We will stand up for the pensioners and we think this petrol tax is just a crazy cost of living attack on every motorist.


HOST: Mr Shorten just finally –


SHORTEN: I know that wasn't really yes or no, sorry I do know that.

HOST: The last one wasn’t. Vilma has a question for you. No, I am kidding! I am kidding. Thanks, Mr Shorten.


SHORTEN: Alright. Thanks, have a lovely day.

HOST: You too.