Sunrise 17/05/22

17 May 2022

SUBJECTS: Costings; Coalition rorts and waste; Scott Morrison’s desperate distractions from cost of living crisis and trillion dollars of debt; New numbers expected to show real wages falling again. 


TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2022


SUBJECTS: Costings; Coalition rorts and waste; Scott Morrison’s desperate distractions from cost of living crisis and trillion dollars of debt; New numbers expected to show real wages falling again. 


DAVID KOCH, HOST: Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers joins me now. Jim, why haven't you revealed your costings yet?

JIM CHALMERS, SHADOW TREASURER: Good morning, Kochie. It's standard practice for Oppositions to release their costings towards the end of the campaign. That's what the Coalition did last election, it's what they did the last two elections that they were in Opposition, so that's completely standard practice. We'll release our costings in the usual way at the usual time, and what they will show...

KOCH: When? You've only got four days.

CHALMERS: We've said for some weeks that we'll do it towards the end of the election campaign. The Coalition did it on the Thursday last election, and they did it on the Thursday the last two times they were in Opposition.

KOCH: When?

CHALMERS: Later in the week Kochie, and what it will show when we do that is that our responsible investments in growing the economy and supporting working families will be a fraction of what the Government's rorted and wasted over the last almost ten years in office. The reason the Government is going on about this, is because they want a desperate distraction from the fact that we've got a full-blown cost of living crisis in this economy; they’ve got a trillion dollars in debt with nothing to show for it; and there’ll be new numbers out tomorrow which show that real wages are going backwards again. They want to distract from all of that and that's why we're getting this desperate politicking.

KOCH: It's all based on the politics, okay. Let's take the politics out of it. The global judge of how well economies are doing are the international credit rating agencies. We are only one of nine countries with a Triple A credit rating - the top rating - from all three credit rating agencies. They're saying we have one of the best economies in the world, one of the best run economies in the world?

CHALMERS: You know the first time that we got those Triple A ratings from the three major ratings agency was under the last Labor Government during the Global Financial Crisis.

KOCH: Yeah, yeah. Under Kevin Rudd, absolutely.

CHALMERS: So we should maintain that Triple A credit rating. We are a Triple A country and we should have a Triple A credit rating. That is self-evident, but that doesn't mean we can't do better. We can have a better future if our Budget is more about quality of spending rather than quality of spending. This has been the most wasteful government since Federation, they doubled the debt even before the pandemic and now we've got a trillion dollars of debt with nowhere near enough to show for it. When we release our costings, what we will demonstrate - to take the politics out of it Kochie - what we can demonstrate is that we can spend public money, we can invest it more wisely, more responsibly, in things that will grow the economy - like child care, like skills and training, like cleaner and cheaper energy.

KOCH: Will you guarantee that our credit rating won't be reduced under Labor?

CHALMERS: There'll be no reason for the credit rating to change under a Labor Government Kochie, we will be more responsible than the Liberals and Nationals. They've put more pressure on the Budget than we would have because the Budget is absolutely riddled with rorts and chock-full of waste. That's why we have already said, we've already nominated some billions of dollars in savings, so that we can spend that money that would otherwise be wasted in more meaningful, more responsible ways - whether it's skills and training, cleaner and cheaper energy, and all the rest.

KOCH: Okay, I'm a numbers man. And I believe what you say. But I want to see the numbers. So what day are you going to release these costings so we all have time to look at them to see that there are no rorts from you in it?

CHALMERS: Well, there'll be plenty of time to go through our costings.

KOCH: No, what day Jim. Give me a day.


KOCH: Tomorrow's Wednesday. Then there's only Thursday and Friday, and then we vote.

CHALMERS:  I'm not going to tell you the day Kochie, but I've given you a big tip, which is that we will do it consistent with what the Liberals and Nationals have done before.

KOCH: Okay, Thursday.

CHALMERS: And that gives people plenty of opportunity to go through our costings, and you'll see that our approach to the Budget is far more responsible than the Liberals and Nationals under Scott Morrison.

KOCH: Alright, come back Thursday and we'll talk about them.

CHALMERS: Thanks Kochie, I'll see you soon.