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Opposition Reacts To MYEFO; Claims Hockey Is Softening Up Electorate For Budget Cuts

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and Shadow Finance Minister Tony Burke have responded to the government’s release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

Bowen said that MYEFO showed that $10.2 billion of the $17 billion blowout in this year’s deficit is down to decisions taken by the government since the election. The major component of this is a payment of $8.8 billion to the Reserve Bank to bolster its reserves.

Bowen

Bowen said: “Joe Hockey is softening up the Australian people. He’s preparing the ground for deep and brutal cuts come Budget time, cuts to come which will affect every Australian.”

Tony Burke said that the government had added $167 million a day to Australia’s deficit since the September election. [Read more…]


Greens Strike Deal With Abbott Government To Abolish Debt Ceiling

With just days to spare before the debt limit needed to be increased, the Australian Greens have struck a deal with the government to abolish the ceiling.

Once labelled “economic fringe-dwellers” by the Coalition, the Greens have stolen a march on the ALP by negotiating a deal that reshapes the debt debate and sidelines the Opposition.

Greens leader Senator Christine Milne told a media conference that the agreement allows for increased parliamentary scrutiny of government debt. An automatic ministerial statement and parliamentary debate will take place whenever a $50 billion increase in debt is undertaken. There is no provision for the parliament to disallow a debt increase. [Read more…]


Kevin Rudd Resigns From Parliament

Kevin Rudd has announced to the House of Representatives that he is resigning his seat of Griffith immediately.

Rudd

Rudd made a 15-minute statement to the House just after 8pm tonight. Towards the end of his sometimes tearful speech, he urged parliamentarians “to be gentle with each other”. He concluded with one more iteration of “got to zip”.

Fulsome tributes were then paid by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Remarks were also made by Joe Hockey, Anthony Albanese, Christopher Pyne, Chris Bowen, Malcolm Turnbull, Tanya Plibersek and Bronwyn Bishop. [Read more…]


Morrison Confirms 31 Dead From Asylum Boat Sinking

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the deaths of 31 asylum seekers from a capsized boat off the West Java coast on Friday.

There are 22 survivors from the boat.

Morrison

Morrison spoke today at his second weekly press briefing on asylum issues. He was accompanied by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin. Later, Shadow Immigration Minister Tony Burke responded to Morrison. [Read more…]