ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2020
SUBJECT: Federal Budget.
ALLISON LANGDON, HOST: Joining us now is Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese. Always good to have you on the show and see you.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Good to be back on Today. I feel like I am back home.
LANGDON: We missed you. Now, you called it the ‘Morrison Recession’. And we had him on the show earlier. He said you should be embarrassed by that comment.
ALBANESE: Why? Doesn’t he want to be the Prime Minister. It is the Morrison Recession. This recession will be longer and deeper and this Government was slow to react. We had a doubling of the debt last year. Wages stagnant last year and consumer confidence going down and productivity going backwards. That is how we entered this period. He was very reluctant to put on wage subsidies. Now he is withdrawing wage subsidies too early. He is withdrawing and lowering the unemployment benefits, JobSeeker, too early. And for a whole bunch of people, if you are over 35 out there, first you get your wage subsidy decreased and then it disappears entirely next March. If you are unemployment benefits you are back to $40 a day. Then you have to compete with people who are being subsidised, competing for work. We should not throw people on the scrap heap. It is the big danger with recession, is that people go into unemployment and are unable to get back into the workforce. Where is the women’s workforce participation program in this Budget? There is nothing.
KARL STEFANOVIC, HOST: Morrison’s Recession, it is cheap during a pandemic.
ALBANESE: Have you ever used ‘Keating Recession’ about the 1990s? I think you have. There were global circumstances there as well. I mean, this is a mob that have spoken about debt of $200 billion as being a crisis and they blamed Rudd. They speak about Labor’s debt. But they are racking up debt of $1 trillion that they don’t want to be associated with any of it. The fact is that they had doubled the debt last year. They didn’t have a plan for the economy. And there is still no major reform plan here. One would have thought out of this recession you should be looking at ‘Okay, how do we build a stronger Australia? What is the big reform measure out of this Budget?’ I can’t see one.
STEFANOVIC: It is on you now. You now can reject a lot of what’s in this Budget, right? What are you going to reject?
ALBANESE: We will exam all the details. But on tax cuts, they can flow immediately, we have said. We argued last year because the economy was so flat we were arguing that the tax cuts Stage Two should be brought forward. We are pleased that the Government has adopted our plan to bring those tax cuts forward.
STEFANOVIC: Anything else that you will reject?
LANGDON: You have had plenty of time to look at it now.
ALBANESE: We haven’t, Ally.
STEFANOVIC: 12 hours.
ALBANESE: We have had less time in the lock-up than any opposition has ever been given. There is a pandemic and a recession, and they are sitting there and thinking, ‘How can we trick Labor? How can we wedge Labor?’ They will introduce legislation this morning contrary to the way that Budgets operates, Budget Tuesday night and Budget reply Thursday night and Senate estimates and proper scrutiny.
STEFANOVIC: You are wedged, in a way, in a sense, because they are spending so much, and you are criticising the spending and yet you are not going to reject anything when it goes to the Senate.
ALBANESE: The fact is though, Karl, they will be judged by their own performance. That is the thing about Scott Morrison not wanting to talk about the Morrison Recession. He doesn’t want ownership of it. Well, if they push this through, we have been constructive. If you were here, go back ten years, we had a Global Financial Crisis. They were sitting here on this lawn talking to the Today Show saying, ‘There is nothing to see here. No need for any stimulus’. They went into Parliament and voted against all of it. They voted against the big infrastructure project and stimulus. The question is; it the right money? Is it going in the right places? What is the major infrastructure project that they announced last night? I was looking for it. We are in a recession. I was looking for it in the Budget papers. I haven’t been able to find it. What they have done is set up a whole lot of pots of money. We know from Sports Rorts and from other issues that they are not really good at allocating money according to where it should go. What they do is, they look at the electoral map and treat taxpayers’ money as if it was Liberal and National Party money.
STEFANOVIC: If you don’t like anything you have to vote against it out of principle. You haven’t seen anything that you don’t like in it?
ALBANESE: Well, the fact is we haven’t seen the legislation yet. Labor doesn’t block supply, Karl. There are a few events that just occurred down there on 11th November 1975. Labor does not block supply. We act in the national interest. This mob, that said there was no Global Financial Crisis, still arguing last year that the Global Financial Crisis didn’t happen. Pretending it didn’t happen. Now, they want to blame everything on the pandemic. But the fact is, that their economic management was lousy, and they had no plan for the economic last year.
LANGDON: Well, we anxiously look forward to your response on Thursday.
STEFANOVIC: Will you mention South Sydney in your speech?
ALBANESE: I may well, actually. I thought we did pretty well on Sunday.
STEFANOVIC: Wayne Bennett is the king.
ALBANESE: He is a hero.
STEFANOVIC: He is a working-class hero.
ALBANESE: He is indeed. He is a great fella. I think Parramatta, Saturday night, I am looking forward to that.
STEFANOVIC: They are going to choke.
ALBANESE: Not Souths. I just think that Cody Walker is the hottest player in the comp at the moment. He is on fire.
STEFANOVIC: Listen to you go.
ALBANESE: And that back line.
STEFANOVIC: It sizzles.
ALBANESE: Alex Johnston. Alex “good for two tries” Johnston.
LANGDON: This is getting out of control. I’m calling it, I’m calling it. We are here to talk Budget
ALBANESE: He raised it.
STEFANOVIC: In Wayne we trust.
LANGDON: Thank you, Albo.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.