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145% INCREASE IN GOVERNMENT DEBT: ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE

March 10, 2020

KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY 

145% INCREASE IN GOVERNMENT DEBT PRIOR TO IMPACTS OF CORONAVIRUS AND BUSHFIRES: ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE
 

Media reports today that the Morrison Government has had to lift its own debt ceiling above $600 billion is yet another broken promise from a third-term government that has failed to manage and pay down government debt over the past seven years.
 
Under this Liberal/National Government, debt skyrocketed well before the fires and the virus, increasing by a staggering 145% or $255 billion during their term in office.
 
When the Liberal/National Government came to government seven years ago they promised to “pay down debt” and “protect Australia from a debt crisis”.
 
On taking office in September 2013 net debt totalled $175 billion or just under 11% of GDP. Seven years later, net government debt is $430 billion or over 21% of GDP. 
 
So much for paying down debt over the past seven years.
 
This Government’s failure to deliver on a test they set themselves at three successive elections means that we are approaching the significant economic challenges posed by the Coronavirus crisis in a much weaker budgetary position than necessary.
 
The Government should not blame the bushfires and Coronavirus for this increase in the debt ceiling.
 
The debt ceiling is being increased because this Government, under both Treasurers Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg, have failed to manage the budget tests that they set themselves over seven years.
 
The Morrison Government didn’t have a plan to pay down debt before the bushfires or Coronavirus and they don’t have one now.
 
Net Debt:
September 2013 - $175 billion (LABOR Government)
2013-14 - $210 billion
2014-15 - $246 billion
2015-16 - $303 billion
2016-17 - $322 billion
2017-18 - $342 billion
2018-19 - $374 billion
January 2020 - $430 billion

TUESDAY, 10 MARCH 2020

Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra