Posted March 07, 2019 16:01:28 The Australian Government must deliver on a plan to deliver economic growth to stimulate a $5.5 billion debt relief package for the next three years, the National party and the Greens have demanded.
The debt relief would include a cap on the interest rate paid on the government’s $1.9 trillion debt and the reintroduction of a 1 per cent GST on household goods and services.
“This package is the best way to deliver a strong recovery, and is a good outcome for everyone involved,” National Treasurer Scott Morrison said.
Mr Morrison has been pushing for the debt relief for months, calling for it in the run-up to the state election.
The debt was a major concern for the Coalition and it has long been an issue for Labor, but the Greens were not consulted, despite a request from Treasurer Scott Emerson.
The Greens want the package to be paid off in two instalments of $1 billion each, with the Government to repay its debt in a “one-off” instalment in 2019.
Under the deal the Government must repay $3.5 trillion in debt by 2020-21, a debt of $9.5-billion.
It is expected to repay $1 trillion in 2019-20.
Labor’s shadow treasurer Chris Bowen, who also chairs the Parliamentary Budget Office, said the deal was “a good outcome” but the Government should have consulted the Greens before agreeing to it.
“I think it was a bit much to expect the Government would agree to it on the basis that it was ‘good’ for everyone,” he said.
“The Government had a very good track record of doing that, and now they are going to pay it off on the backs of the people who elected them.”
“The question now is whether they will get the same level of confidence from the people of Australia.”
The deal would allow the Government “a significant degree of flexibility” to take action on debt, including an early election.
Mr Morrison said he hoped the debt recovery package would “help the economy in a meaningful way” and provide a “truly credible debt relief programme”.
“I know the Australian people want the debt to be brought down and they want the Government in a position to be able to spend money to support that process,” he told ABC radio.
“This is the right thing to do and this is the sort of package that’s appropriate for that.”
If we can work out a way to pay off this debt in one lump sum, then the debt will be repaid in the future.
“Mr Bowen said the Government needed to “step up” to a “stronger economic recovery” but he believed the deal would “not be enough”.”
There are going of course to be questions raised about how it’s going to deliver on the commitment, but I do think it’s the right deal,” he added.”
It’s the sort for Australia to have a strong economy, and a strong national recovery, without the debt burden.