Mal Brough backs the Federal Budget, Clive sceptical
MEMBER for Fisher Mal Brough has summarised last night's Federal Budget as "necessary" to restore Australia's economy.
However, Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer has slammed it with a score of four out of 10 and suggested it is "based on a lie".
The budget has been characterised by massive cuts in spending, in particular for many social security payments - for families, pensioners and the unemployed - and additional costs for basic medical services and increases in fuel excise.
"What we're saying to the public very clearly is that the trajectory of debt we were on - debt and deficit - was unsustainable," Mr Brough said.
He said the nation had been going backwards financially for years, and would continue at least for a decade without major reforms.
"This is why this change had to occur and had to occur now, and we don't run away from the fact that there have been tough decisions to be made," he said.
"(It's) necessary and it is in the nation's best interests."
However, Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer, himself a successful businessman, said the need for the drastic measures, which will result in higher costs or reduced incomes for almost every Australian, as being based on incorrect data.
He said Australia's debt represented only 12% of GDP, compared to the OECD average of 73% - with that, the announced debt levy to be paid by those earning over $180,000 was unnecessary.
"We need more stimulus for growth, that's not there, we need to recognise we shouldn't be cutting the pensions and leaving people out of work, which will dampen domestic demand; we need to get the economy moving," Mr Palmer said.
"It's based on a lie, and I don't think the Australian people need to be lied to that we're in major debt when we're not; I think we can face these things as adults, and we can face the future together."