The parliamentary year is over and Christmas is two weeks away but politics continued at full strength today.
The looming holiday period will presage a frantic election year and both sides continue to push their main messages.
In his media appearance today, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan spruiked the government’s economic message and condemned the opposition’s attitude to automatic enrolment of young voters.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also talked economic issues, predicting that the government would not achieve a budget surplus next year.
Both men took questions about the media in light of the 2DayFM royal prank call.
- Listen to Wayne Swan (12m)
- Listen to Tony Abbott (9m)
Swan has now flown out to visit India. Tony Abbott will be in England at the end of the week.
Text of media release by Treasurer Wayne Swan.
Visit to India to discuss the opportunities of the Asian Century
Tonight I depart for India to meet with senior Indian Government and business leaders to discuss the opportunities for our two countries in the Asian Century, building on the goodwill the Prime Minister generated in her October visit.
India is an emerging economic powerhouse and one of Australia’s closest regional partners, so this visit will be a great opportunity to build on our strong friendship and our growing economic ties.
India’s stellar growth over the past two decades has seen it become the third largest economy in the world. As set out in the Gillard Government’s Asian Century White Paper, the Indian economy is transforming rapidly, and is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 6¾ per cent to 2025.
Together, India and China will make the largest contribution to global and regional economic growth to 2025. By then, the combined economic weight of these two countries alone is expected to surpass that of the G7 countries combined.
India is Australia’s fourth largest merchandise export destination and my visit will help ensure we are well-positioned to improve on this strong relationship as the middle classes in countries like
India grow rapidly through the coming decades of the Asian Century.
My visit will also provide for a timely a first-hand assessment of economic conditions in India and throughout the region at a time when there are still serious challenges to the global economic recovery.
India and Australia are both affected by the uncertainty besetting the US and European economies, and my Indian counterparts and I have argued strongly for action to address their underlying problems, particularly at the G20.
During my visit I look forward to meeting with India’s Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, as well as leading economists and senior business leaders from both Indian and Australian firms to discuss the opportunities unfolding in India and the region.