The journalist here is Sabra Lane.
JOURNALIST: Professor Sinclair Davidson last night was saying that if you do press ahead with this levy, this will be Tony Abbott’s Julia Gillard moment and it will be a disaster for this Government.
MATHIAS CORMANN: I don’t accept that at all. We are very focused on making the right decisions for the right reasons for the country. We are not doing any of this for fun. We’re not doing this because it gives us any pleasure. We are doing it because in our judgement, having reviewed all of the information, it is the right thing to do for the country. We will explain ourselves to the Australian people in the lead-up to the Budget, on Budget night and of course the weeks and months that follow the Budget.
JOURNALIST: Senator, what is your reply to Peter Costello’s critic of the proposed increase of taxation?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Peter Costello was an outstanding Coalition Treasurer who provided distinguished service to Australia. He also was confronted by a Budget in a mess left behind by a Labor administration. In his first Budget, he made it very clear, I am now quoting directly from his Budget speech: ‘The tightening measures have to be fairly shared. We cannot expect those who rely on pensions and allowances, low income earners to bear the cost. So we must ask high income earners to make a contribution and business to make its contribution to (sic)”. We agree with Mr. Costello and if I can just add here, is Bill Shorten really suggesting that those in receipt of government allowances should carry the whole burden of fixing Labor’s Budget mess? Or does he agree with us that the effort ought to be spread fairly and equitably across the whole community?
It is pleasing to know that the Abbott government will be explaining itself. First time for everything, I suppose.