Federal debt ceiling removed

A deal with the Greens will see the removal of the Federal Government’s debt ceiling.

Federal debt ceiling removed
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Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has struck a deal with the Greens that will see the removal of the federal debt ceiling allowing the federal government to borrow as much money as it needs.

The changes are expected to be passed through the Senate today, but the deal did require the Abbott Government to agree to three key demands from the Greens that are expected to increase transparency.

The agreement now means that the Federal Government will deliver a debt statement to the Parliament when borrowings are increased by $50 billion or more and set out the reasons why this increase has occurred. A new report will now be included in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MEFO) and the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO) on how much the government is spending on climate change and the extent to which that spending is contributing to government debt.

The final part of the agreement means that all future Intergenerational Reports will now include a dedicated section on the environment which will include climate change.

In response to the announcement of the deal between the Coalition and the Greens, Labor’s Jill Hall said “I think it does put some transparency back into the system but it's not as transparent as the minister having to come into the Parliament and ask for that ceiling to be lifted”.

Read more from the Sydney Morning Herald
Read more from News.com.au

Opinion: Transparency for the future

The agreement reached between the Greens and the Coalition will mean future governments, even those with a majority, will have to remain fiscally responsible. I was against a debt ceiling rise to $500 billion last month, but I welcome the newly struck deal which sets in motion new levels of transparency for the Federal Parliament. As the old saying goes, if you give them an inch, they will take a mile, so limiting any increases to $50 billion seems the right course of action for me.

As expected, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen wasn’t too happy about the deal. "More transparency is always welcome but the ultimate transparency is seeking parliamentary approval and having to answer questions," said Mr Bowen.

The deal with the Greens saw Prime Minister Abbott performing another backflip this week as he had said, in August this year, “We can never build a better future by doing cheap and tawdry deals with the Greens.”

In a timely study released yesterday by Transparency International, Australia was ranked as one of just 11 countries around the world to score between 80 and 100 on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The global average CPI for 2013 was 43, with a lower score indicating a more corrupt government.

Is the removal of the Federal Government’s debt ceiling a responsible move? Has the agreement struck with the Greens made it too easy to draw down more debt? Is Australia racking up too much debt?


    To make a comment, please register or login
    5th Dec 2013
    The Greens have lost voters over this, watch next election. Christine Milne working with the coalition is a joke and she thinks they'll abide by an agreement, HA!
    5th Dec 2013
    Let's hope that the Greens lose all their supporters. How many people are aware that as well as wanting to stop all economic activity in Australua, that they also want Australia to be governed by a World Government (ie Asia).
    5th Dec 2013

    Are you so partisan that you think that each political party must have its own agenda and therefore cannot agree on a sensible course of action?
    For the record, I think that Christine Milne IS the joke but in a rare moment of reality, she has made a worthwhile contribution to the governance of the country.
    5th Dec 2013
    We just did this topic. Get over it.
    5th Dec 2013
    Go Joe, the sky's the limit
    5th Dec 2013
    Why do I even bother reading some of the trite -rude- and uninformed quotes that some people make. Maybe it is my daily dose of bile or something else not so sweet. Let the Government get on with it smile and be happy. Your turn to make a statement is three years away. Even then it may not be heard but you can still make it, if it is heard celebrate if not carry on with the same viturputive attitude as you have now.
    5th Dec 2013
    Well said dougie. They would moan if their arse was on fire. It never stops. We are lucky to at last have strong government.
    5th Dec 2013
    I get up in the evening & I ain't got nothin' to say
    I come home in the mornin' feelin' the same way
    I ain't nothing but tired, man I'm just tired & bored with my self
    Hey there baby I could use just a little help

    You can't start a fire
    You can't start a fire with out a spark
    This guns for hire even if we're just dancing in the dark -
    You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
    This guns for hire, even if we're just dancing in the dark.

    It seems that the Green are the perfect dance partner to all comers, for all seasons.
    Young Simmo
    6th Dec 2013
    OK, everything seems to have slowed down in here so I thought I might relate a recent experience to liven things up a bit.

    A dig in the ribs from Wifey who says, “Turn the alarm off and get up, you are the smart arse who wants to go at one O’clock”. Then the penny drops, today is D day after weeks of planning. My mate Butch and I have 2 weeks of leave to spend metal detecting in the Gascoyne with our fail safe GT 16,000 detectors.
    The trusty old Toyota Personnel carrier was loaded yesterday complete with 2 cartons of VB that my better half knows about. I drive over to Butch’s place we load the other 12 cartons which were hidden behind the cement mixer at the back of his shed. I believe too much knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge where beer and women are concerned.
    After leaving Perth at about 2 am we arrive in Cue at 9 am just in time to see the place waking up. We filled up with diesel and stopped just out of Cue on the Big bell road to study our maps and options. There are 4 roads out of Cue, South to Mt Magnet, North to Meekatharra, East to Sandstone and west to Big bell.
    The great feature about Cue is, not only are all these destinations good detecting areas, but there are dozens of proven patches on both sides of the roads which have probably yielded 20,000 ounces plus over the last 10 or 12 years.
    E.G. Mt Sandy 2,000ozs alone, then Klondike, Day Dawn, Webbs Patch and the Mainland etc, etc. All these places have been dry blown, scraped and detected, but nobody gets the lot. I should say here that our last two trips of two weeks each, only produced 13.5 Grams & 8 Grams each. That = 2 men X 1 Month = $322.50 divided by 2. Therefore our credibility with our wives is on the line on this trip.
    We decided to camp a couple of days on the Mainland (20 Kms south of Cue). On arrival we changed our minds because although the sign writing was rough, the message was quite clear. After tracking back to Cue, then out on the Sandstone road we set up camp at Webbs Patch under trees where others had obviously camped. The sun was on the way down so we decided to get an hour of detecting in before we succumbed to the mysterious magnetic force that the Engel fridge seems to emit. After about 20 minutes, I turned up a nice one of about 10 grams. It took me about 10 seconds to decide that’s better than the whole of last trip.
    Time to open the bar.
    While lounging back in my folda-chair and struggling through my 3rd can, Butch wondered back...... I said “I’ve paid for my share of the booze and you can have a can when you do the same“. He said “OK smart arse” and plonked a 7.3 oz beauty on top of my humble contribution.
    We stayed another 2 days for one piece about a gram. The same old story, you get a piece early and it keeps you there for hours and sometimes days.
    On the fourth morning it was time for a change, so up camp and over to the other side of town. Three hours of detecting turned up 0.5 grams and 3 grams at Cuddingwarra. We decided to camp at Golden Gate which is a bit further out on the other side of the big Bell road. On the first day Butch turned up another beauty of 3 ozs, then nothing until the third day when we got 3 each for a total of 10 grams. Although this is our best trip ever, it seems with gold the more you get the more you want.
    Over the remaining days we detected at Curtis Find, the Weld Ranges and finally on the way home in the hills at the back of the Cue golf Coarse. These places gave up 1.5 Grams, 7 grams and 11 grams.
    Wow, what a trip, we have detected at about 6 or 7 places and got a bit at every place.
    The trip home was about an hour less than the trip up as we couldn’t wait to get home and get some browney points on the board.
    There’s that lousy alarm again and wifey saying, “ it’s 7 o’clock, if you don’t get up you will be late for work“.
    “Yes my friends that is the stuff dreams are made of“.
    6th Dec 2013
    Hi Young Simmo, That made great reading, and although I am on the Gold Coast, have never managed to find any nuggets over here. Lots of other nice things though. Wifey must have been out of her tree when she saw the results.
    6th Dec 2013
    Your anti-Abbott comments are getting very tiresome. If you want "backflips" look at the many exhibited by Labor. Despite all the naive sniping taking place, the Coalition is calmly going ahead bringing this country back onto an even keel. Labor lost the election - get over it!
    6th Dec 2013
    I agree with all you said. About time we had strong government to bring us back from the brink. Confidence is returning at last.
    7th Dec 2013
    Calmly???? keep smokin man!
    7th Dec 2013
    Sorry can't help myself, yes you are absolutely correct Labor lost the election, LNP did not win it!
    6th Dec 2013
    What I want to know is - why, EVERY time there is a change of government, we hear much shrieking, hand-wringing, and tales of woe regarding the state of the economy the dear departed previous government has left ? Can it really be that bad that we have to RAISE the debt ceiling? Or is this proposal simply a smoke screen to pay for the ludicrous election promises that we ALL know were very unlikely to eventuate without a bit of sleight-of-hand?
    Perhaps an independently audited financial report made available to the general public before each election is the way to go. Now THAT is what I call transparency!
    7th Dec 2013
    When even Rupert,s ultra right propaganda sheet the "Australian " starts criticizing Abbot,s Mad Hatters Tea Party then you know something's wrong.
    8th Dec 2013
    Look let's suppose, just suppose, that the LNP supporters have a conscience instead of their "Greed and Need "mentality, exactly like the "Tea Party "which is now ruling the Republican party in the USA, then the world might, just might, avoid the "War to end all wars ".
    10th Dec 2013
    I am amazed that the dreadful debt problem facing Australia has gone so quickly now the LNP is in power, and now we can freely borrow $b's more !! I think it is about time they taxed the pension.

    I thought that by allowing unfettered borrowing, we would sink deeper into debt?? Hey, Christmas is here!! Let's have a Christmas tax!!

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