Reducing debt must be a priority: Costello

Reducing national debt must be a priority, says Peter Costello.

Reducing debt must be a priority: Costello

We’ll be dead before the national debt is paid off, former Treasurer Peter Costello told 7.30 host Leigh Sales on Monday night.

"The probabilities are we will never get back to where we were; you and I will die before that happens.”

Australia’s longest-serving Treasurer said national debt as a proportion of the GDP, 19 per cent, was at about the same level as when he became treasurer in 1996.

"It took us 10 surplus budgets to pay it off last time. You'd be doing well to pay it off in 10 surplus budgets this time," he said while calling for spending to be slashed by at least $18 billion a year to fix the problem.

"We've now had 10 years of deficit. Cumulatively, that means to cover that we have had to borrow about $370 billion. We went from having no net debt to borrowing about $370 billion. That money doesn't go away. It's going to be there, we're going to be paying interest on it, until somebody pays it back."

He said future generations would be paying interest on the debt that has accumulated in the past decade, and would probably be paying it for the rest of their lives.

The chairman of Nine Entertainment and the Government's Future Fund Mr Costello backed Treasurer Scott Morrison's pledge to restrict the overall tax take as a share of GDP to 23.9 per cent.

However, he said the same figure should apply to federal spending, which is running at about 25 per cent of GDP.

"You've got to get your expenses down to about 24 per cent. We should try and have a cap on that as well and if we could get them down to about 24 per cent, we could start balancing budgets and we could pay off debt but we are a long way away from that," he said.

"It might just sound like ... not that much. It's [actually] about $18 billion, and until we get our spending under control we are never going to be in a position to pay back our debts.”

Are you concerned about the spending measures forecast in tonight’s Federal Budget? Should paying off debt be a priority?

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Rae
    8th May 2018
    10:37am
    Maybe we should have kept all that gold Mr C and a few gold mines to go with it. That was very shortsighted to sell at the bottom and squander the proceeds on a Future Fund in the Cayman Islands.
    Maybe that Future Fund should pay some taxes here perhaps.
    MICK
    8th May 2018
    1:20pm
    Good call.
    Of course Costello gave away money with the Baby Bonus. Never was there a worse policy which resulted in young girls getting themselves pregnant for the dough.
    If Costello wants the debt repaid then he needs to ask his side of politics, now in government, why they are giving away $50 billion in the way of tax cuts to the rich and multinationals. The whole spiel about z "Budget EMergency" and the life and death need to repay debt is nothing more than a ploy to tax ordinary hard working Australians whilst handing the money to the top end of down. A lie and a scam which only the gullible will believe.
    niemakawa
    8th May 2018
    3:01pm
    MICK, the rot started when Whitlam gave allowances to single morhers. Since then it has been "anything you can do I can do better" from both sides of politics. The beginning of the Nanny State heralded by a Labor Government and continued by successive Governments. No as Mr Costelo rightly points out it will take generations ( to die) to return to a surplus , if ever. It has got to a stage where far too many people rely on the Government to make decisions for them. Of course Governments have seen this as the perfect opportunity to control the masses. This has happened in most Western Nations, all panned of course.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2018
    12:10pm
    Costello had the huge benefit of the mining boom - should stop claiming credit for what he did not do. Also, don't forget the massive Gas sell-off by Howard / Costello - we could all have been much richer if our Resources returned wealth to us (not foreigners / private fat cats), just like the Arabs use their resources and have no taxes for the people.
    Travellersjoy
    8th May 2018
    10:45am
    Hilarious isn't it?

    The key braggart, along with John Howard, of the deforming of our tax and transfers system to preference the rich and corporate, now complains that the deficits he ensured must happen, do indeed happen.

    What happy little vegemites they were when tossing our public wealth to the four winds while reducing our capacity to fund our country by chopping tax!

    There are no words to describe the harm done by those two. He would do best to keep out of the public eye, and his mouth shut.

    His dreams created our modern nightmares.
    john
    8th May 2018
    11:29am
    Yes indeed go away Mr Costello , you know not what you DID!
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    1:52pm
    Unfortunately - he knows full well what he did - he simply doesn't care.
    Oars
    8th May 2018
    6:22pm
    Again the lefties come out of their cave and completely ignore the labor rorts of Gillard the Como. The schools hall rorts should have been the labour HAUL rorts. As there was about $20 Million paid out to their midddle-man-mate- yet no buildings to show for it. Strange ??? But that was swept under the carpet. That carpet is a great hiding place for political bluders, as theyall know where it is, but nobody brings out a vacuum cleaner. Dirty place- but .
    Misty
    8th May 2018
    6:54pm
    "bluders"?.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2018
    9:23am
    Don't mention the LNP's massive unaffordable handouts to the richest 20% that cost the nation the profits of the mining boom and imposed major unaffordable obligations on the incoming Labor Govt - nor that we emerged from the GFC in better economic health than any other nation. No, just keep banging on about school halls - many of which delivered enormous benefit to needy communities.
    Adrianus
    8th May 2018
    10:49am
    They sound like the words of a very successful Treasurer.
    Getting expenditure down to 24% of GDP could be a lot easier by increasing the GDP. Anyway that's the strategy of this government as I see it, because to focus solely on cuts alone would be a negative move. We need to keep chipping away at the Abbott slogan of jobs and growth. Its not easy, but its worth doing!
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    11:52am
    **falls about laughing**

    What are these steps to increase GDP?

    It was Big Mal who said Jobson Growthe was our future saviour.... but let's abandon Jobson on the side of the road, and proceed to take the peasantry down to as close to zero equity as we can, so as to produce a vibrant, buoyant economy by eroding and chopping incomes and then stupidly trying to suck up by offering tax cuts, creating a 'cost' (not real) on Social Security for the unemployed while giving handouts to business and to people to stay home for family and such, subsidise childcare to the tune of billions (but only for those employed - the unemployed get to leave their kids at home when they get out to hunt for the mythical job), and continue to shatter our society and economy by preferencing mates and special interest groups..

    Oh - and let's blame the pensioners for this...... and of course Labor did it.....
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    5:06pm
    The strategy of this government is to blame Labor, blame pensioners, rip off the battlers, and hand out unaffordable gifts to the wealthiest tax evaders. Yep! A great strategy. And we are seeing the results, aren't we? Debt climbing constantly - to heights never seen before. But the maggots in power can still afford to give $65 billion to their funders, while stealing the livelihoods of retirees who worked their guts out for decades.
    Adrianus
    9th May 2018
    12:16pm
    Wow, that $65B was $50B and Bill Shorten is now calling it $80B. This is why we don't want lefties in government. Just not good with numbers.
    Old Geezer
    8th May 2018
    11:21am
    It will take 2 lifetimes for Labor to pay it back. If you let them they will double in their first term alone.
    john
    8th May 2018
    11:30am
    AND EVEN THAT COULD BE WELL TRUE!
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    11:54am
    Explain how that could be - and how it is any different from the current lot and how long it will take them to 'pay it back'?

    They are, after all, the ones whining about this 'generational debt' - how many lifetimes is their projection to set it right if they get to keep the controls?

    Three? Four? They haven't made any headway since 2013..... just been pushed back by the tide of their own making.
    Misty
    8th May 2018
    7:00pm
    The debt increased by 300 Billion since they came to power, Abbott did away with the debt ceiling, the debt was 270 Billion when Labor was kicked out, now stands at about 560-570 Billion and BTW the LNP wanted to take it up to 700 Billion.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2018
    9:30am
    But that's ''good economic management'', Misty. Debt is only bad, apparently, when the Labor government is in power or the LNP want an excuse to rip off pensioners and lower income self-funded retirees. Then, of course, debt is a major disaster, but when they want to buy votes, it's all good!
    4b2
    9th May 2018
    11:39am
    Joe Hockey did that in two weeks of becoming treasurer.
    john
    8th May 2018
    11:26am
    You have to wonder about all these over serious ex pollies and economist, doomsayers.
    Debt is part of the capitalist system. Its either in debit or surplus, how bad or good it is we never really know , because our governments keep bulldusting about how the last government messed up and we owe too much or now if we're in trouble with this next budget how are we about to get tax cuts of 10 bucks each and then millions in tax cuts to big business . So where's the money coming from?
    Manipulation of economies in this country and the absolute tripe that the money changers in politics come out with is beyond most Australians in the Mr and Mrs Average bracket. its why we're ripped off in a wealthy country and just a few get wealthy.
    All I know is that this nation spends money in the wrong places, and never ever seems to go beyond the not do anything much situation and all our govts have done it.
    This budget and the coming budgets will be the same , we won't pay down all debt ever and sometimes we'll be in surplus and sometimes in deficit, whether Peter Costello is dead or not , won't mean a thing.
    Plus Superannuation rules MIGHT CHANGE???????? HA HA HA WHATS NEW!

    8th May 2018
    11:37am
    If we equate the federal budget to a personal budget for a family then paying off the debt should not be a priority. Households generally have debts and the only thing that really matters is not the debt but the capacity to repay the debt. The amount of debt as a government problem arose when Keating left a bigger debt than was disclosed before the 1996 election and the Howard government made an issue of it. What followed were bumper years for a government which sat back and reaped the profits from a mining boom.

    The surplus funds were used to repay the outstanding debt as well as give tax relief for voters, all without much publicity apart from election time. Then came the Labor government, the GFC and a lot of spending which was done on borrowed money. Since 2007 there have been no surplus budgets and although the debt appears high, Costello puts it into perspective by using a percentage against GDP rather than an insurmountable number which is usually incorrectly quoted.

    There is an election to happen within the next year or so and both sides will spend too much time blaming the other for the debt when, really, it doesn't matter as long as a government has the capacity to repay it. What is needed is for the next election to be free of finger pointing about the debt and for both major parties to be open and honest about what they will do for the country.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    11:58am
    Don't forget Howard also had a one-off payment from flogging off the furniture and selling the gold so it could go to The Caymans in their Futures Fund. essentially the boom time was wasted when the nation should have been consolidating and that is the prime cause of the current problems.

    The management of those 'boom' resources in a few private and offshore hands continues to leave a lot to be desired, especially when it comes to tax being paid.

    It's not as simple as you say up there.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    12:06pm
    It's not a simple subject, Bob, and my post wasn't trying to suggest that. All I was trying to get across is the answer to the original question about whether paying off the debt should be a priority. Sadly, the question has been overlooked and the usual blame game promoted depending on whether you support red or blue. (No Bob, not Ford and Holden.)
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    1:26pm
    Hmm - okay... it would be nice to not have debt... but it seems that the approach to reducing it is the wrong way about. Instead of capturing revenue where it is currently leaking, we have governments that play silly ideological games at the expense of the ordinary people, who really have no interest in this nonsense but are forced to endure it year after year from these jumped-up clowns.

    Things were running nicely in the energy sector until some self-interested ghett jumped up and said that government shouldn't be involved in business... now that cost of living is through the roof.

    If it weren't broke, there was no need to fix it, and it sure as hell is broke now, just like every other similar thing.

    As for tax capture... well - I posted yesterday that the majority of the BCA members didn't even pay 30% on their taxable income (repeats -taxable income)*... a third paid none - yet these are the clowns with the ear of government today.

    * How about you or I just negotiate down from our tax liability on our taxable income every year... ummmm - not happy with paying that amount - can we negotiate downward, Mr Tax Person? OK, Mr OM - we can do that for you... how about you only pay, oooh... 21% instead?

    And the revenue escaping offshore by the ship-load.... the very fact that all these 'resource' things are being handed to offshore pirates is a sure sign of piss-poor management at the top and a total lack of foresight.
    MICK
    8th May 2018
    1:43pm
    Don't get me started TREBOR. We had shares in the Gorgon LNG deposit. Howard allowed this to be sold offshore for a pocket full of silver. Now the gas is being sold into Asia, all of it, at a rate which sees Australia get almost nil for it. The irony is NO GAS AVAILABLE FOR AUSTRALIANS.
    We are sold out. The question needs asking is what inducements or payments are being made for politicians to sell out our mineral rich country so that profits go to rich American companies?
    Now we have multinationals doing the same thing. Our farming land is also up for grabs for foreign governments to buy up cheap.
    We don't need an election. We need a revolution like the French Revolution where politicians who sell us out are made to account. Don't expect our courts to do this. They won't.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    1:58pm
    Oh - we're not out of gas - we just get to buy it back at the vastly inflated price set by the people who buy it from us for 2c a litre..... even when the gas we actually buy has never left these shores...

    Now that's a smart business plan..... as a local shopkeeper, I'll sell my right to bought and paid for vegetables to some overseas conglomerate for 2c a kilo, instead of to my customers at the current price - then in order to satisfy the needs of my customers I'll buy veggies from the conglomerate at a vastly increased price, and then charge my customers two or three times what they would have paid if I'd bought direct.

    Not THAT is a brilliant business plan for all concerned ... and these Libs claim to understand business..... all they understand is the donations from their business lobbyists who put their case and get it rubber-stamped.

    Ban lobbying and ban donations.
    MICK
    8th May 2018
    2:16pm
    Spot on. That is the story the right wing media REFUSE to tell. Better known as a rich man's cartel complete with its own government.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    3:09pm
    Bit off topic Bob and MICK but my interpretation of the natural gas debacle is that governments (doesn't matter which ones) oversold the product on the basis that there's more where that came from. Add the Greens to the equation and the need for governments to bow down to them in the name of votes and, bingo, gas exploration will kill us all. So there is more where that came from but it has to stay where it is because Australia is now being run by the vocal minority.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2018
    11:42am
    Australia must make a greater effort to become an evolving innovative manufacturing, agricultural trader rather than depending on mineral resources and commodities such wool and beef.
    If we trained our own people to design and build top class submarines, naval ships, helicopters, aircraft, there’d be plenty of jobs, growth as well as export. Had we started our own space agency ages ago we would have jobs, growth and rolling in cash. If we learned how to contain and store radioactive waste for other countries there’d be plenty of cash rolling in. If we learned and trained how to turn deserts into lush farming regions many other countries would depend on us.

    But, we haven’t done any of this, because we deemed that, the cost of investment and cost of labour did not make it feasible, so we moved our manufacturing overseas sold off the farms, essential services and telegraph poles to foreigners, who are now rolling in cash and wealth and instead of creating Australia to be self-dependent. Today, we depend on other countries, like a second world country. We suffer these consequences because of our economic growth short-sightedness, complacency and always looking for the easy way out.
    Sen.Cit.90
    8th May 2018
    11:56am
    G'day HS,
    I agree with most of your comments, the one exception for me is; we do not need the radioactive waste from other nations contaminating our land; how safe is safe with that stuff? It could contaminate the underground water in those deserts you wish to see turned into lush farming regions.
    Adrianus
    8th May 2018
    11:57am
    Great post HS. The vast majority of those who support having a weaker economy do so out of ignorance. Those who have struggled in the real world and have learned to make life easier for others understand the value for all in that concept. Those who are opposed to success are only opposing themselves.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    12:00pm
    It's called developing genuine infrastructure rather than 'infrastructure' such as banking and other 'service' industries.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2018
    12:01pm
    Sen.Cit, 89 I stated, "If we learned how to contain and store radioactive waste"...until then I agree we are not equipped nor knowledgeable enough to manage it. But, it is possible and in the future it will be essential.
    Old Geezer
    8th May 2018
    12:03pm
    We will have to store it anyway when we develop our nuclear power stations.
    Adrianus
    8th May 2018
    1:57pm
    Its ok for us to sell uranium to Russia but not ok to store the waste? A little hypocritical wouldn't you say?

    8th May 2018
    11:47am
    Why wasn't that self-serving idiot thinking of that when he was treasurer and handing out tax cuts like lollies during a boom,failing to organise anything for the future, and sliding into an extra little earner for running the stolen Futures Fund lodged in The Caymans so that politician's retirement funding will never go down with the ship - on top of his parliamentary super and his other jobs doing nothing?

    Now they "had to borrow $370bn" to make up for ten years of deficit....

    Well sonny - the problems are with management of this nation at the top - going back along way - and the simple fact that your kind have sold the furniture out from the house, thus creating need within the community, and setting it up for status as a Third World banana republic providing resources for peanuts to 'global' pirates, while the nation grows thinner and thinner.

    Lock the gates - tax everyone properly - develop genuine forward-looking infrastructure - get the nation going again.
    Old Geezer
    8th May 2018
    12:01pm
    Costello didn't create this debt Labor did when it went on a spending spree during the GFC. Now they block every more the LNP tries to fix it in the senate. now they wont to get back into power to spend again like drunken sailors fleecing self funded retirees using our already over funded hospitals and schools as an excuse to give them more to waste.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2018
    12:09pm
    OG-" Now they block every more the LNP tries to fix it".
    It's called political Opposition. I recollect that Abbott was a master of political opposition. What goes around, comes around. Tit for Tat.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    1:35pm
    Lovely way to run a nation on behalf of its people......

    Provide figures, OG - I think you'll find that most of Labor's 'spending' was into this economy direct - which means it all came back via the tax cycle - that's called priming the economy - not black hole spending.

    When politicians and the like talk about 'budgets'- they are talking about their estimates, without looking at all the factors or at the final result - and yet the common herd tend to imagine that when someone rants about 'ten years of budget deficit' - the country was bleeding cash every year for ten years.....

    It's called 'politicianspeak' and its intention is to deliberately mislead everyone into thinking the nation is broke and their opposition caused it and therefore unsavoury policies against the rabble must be used to set it right.

    When politicians begin to speak in hard dollar terms - they will be more honest about these things instead of using it a a political bludgeon over their 'opponents' in this game of charades .... but I won't hold my breath.
    Misty
    8th May 2018
    7:07pm
    Wearing your Blue Tie today Old Geezer.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2018
    9:27am
    Trebor, OG has made it very clear that the ONLY spending that is acceptable is handouts to the rich. He even once declared that my disabled grandson should have been murdered at birth, and that not only should the government not have to support the disabled, but I should not have the right to conserve my own private savings to benefit my grandson. The government should take everything to give more tax cuts to the richest 20%. That's his position, so I think we can pretty much dismiss everything he says. I doubt anyone could go any lower and be referred to as ''human''.

    Misty, do monsters wear ties?

    8th May 2018
    12:06pm
    Slash spending by $18bn a year , eh? Well .. lessee now... $50bn to company taxes over five years - there's $10bn for a start.......... if we build our ships in Australia instead of La Belle France and Macho Espagna and that dead money is returned to OUR economy - that's another $100Bbn or so over a few years.... even over ten years.... that another $10bn a year = $20bn - problem solved.

    Of course, strategically, as a nation, we need to prop up France and Spain as a bulwark against the ravening hordes of whoever who might come crashing through and - well - if Spain goes, they might be landing at Bondi next...... or Mascot... (hmmmm)....
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2018
    12:14pm
    We have to hedge our economic bets,sometimes. We need other friends, we can't depend on USA or UK. The more friends we have the better but we must not allow them to run us over. It must be a win/win outcome.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    1:47pm
    Neither France nor Spain (or South Korea for that matter) reciprocate (buzz word in the context of trade agreements) by lodging contracts with Australia to the tune of $50bn a time... and our trade with them is miniscule compared to others so it's not recouped in any positive transaction for Australia.

    Let's think of this in a simple example - if you could weld up a frame in your own garage for $20... why would you send it to a welding shop and get it done for $200? In terms of tax - when you spend $50bn on ship-building in Australia, that money goes into this economy and keeps recycling - when you spend it overseas, it is Gonski.... forever.

    We are not a 'rich' nation that can afford to throw around $50bn at a time - especially when politicians past and present are jumping up and down every day telling us how broke we are.

    Amazing that Costello is taken out of the glass cabinet to pontificate to us all on how desperate things are, how Labor caused it all, and how the harsh measures against pensioners etc must continue.

    Just today Morrison came out and said that since '410,000 jobs had been created' - there was no need to raise unemployment benefits, (since it was plain the unemployed are just bludgers)....

    Totally out of touch with the reality that with at least double that amount unemployed and many more under-employed, and the majority of those jobs were filled by people changing from one job to another anyway - NO relief was in sight for the unemployed at any time in reality, and the bottom line of many more hundreds of thousands unemployed than jobs changed not one iota (due to bad management by government).

    That kind of stupid statement, like Joe's infamous 'lifters andleaners' - might go over well to a closed room of (stupid) Liberal supporters who think they are a 'better' class (when they act like peasants in Armani with no class whatsoever) - but it doesn't wash out here in Publicland.

    Total waste of time, space, money and oxygen, our Morrison.
    HarrysOpinion
    8th May 2018
    4:50pm
    Trebor I understand what you have stated BUT, you are ignoring that the Australian tourist industry benefits ten fold from S Korea, Japan, China and other Asian countries. If you take that into account as an offest to the trade imbalance then it kind of improves the outlook, don't you think so? As for France and Spain, this is a different and more difficult kettle of fish, so to speak.
    ozrog
    8th May 2018
    12:37pm
    Debt will never be paid of that's how our governments operate.
    Dave R
    8th May 2018
    12:43pm
    It was Howard and Costello being too generous in the good times that set Australia up for structural deficits when those times ended. Now it's very hard to claw back their largesse to balance the budget.
    Costello is correct but he needs to acknowledge that it was his government that gave too much away instead of keeping it for a rainy day.
    Old Geezer
    8th May 2018
    1:13pm
    Nay it was Labor government spending like drunken sailors under Rudd and Gillard. Labor is just so wasteful.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    1:49pm
    Nay it was Howard and Costello and Hockey and Abbott spending like drunken sailors. LNP is so wasteful they've blown out the debt by more than double in five years....
    Old Geezer
    8th May 2018
    1:53pm
    Big difference is that they had the money to spend Rudd and Gillard didn't so had to borrow it.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    2:06pm
    But I thought Wee Johnnie (Don Juan Huarte) and his henchman (Don Pedro castella) in El Grande Republica da San Austrador left Rudd and Gillard a full till......so if Don Huarte and Don Castella had the money to spend............ and spent it.... how come the till was still full?

    Welcome to the reality of Third World petty party dictatorship and the way the Dons at the top shift OUR national cash around to suit themselves... like for instance the Futures Fund...

    "Eh, Don Pedro - uno momento - I godda idea... we sell off the national treasury gold - we put him in a tax free account in Los Caymanos for our retirement scheme... and YOU get to run heem when you retire with your fat pension for life! You get paidtwice from ze same fund!! Is only $130 billion dullahs... but eef we have to leave the country fast.. you know.... we are safe!! Ah - gimme one of those cigars.. business is GOOD in a republic you can run as you wish - awr - stuff the peons....!!"
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    5:03pm
    Yes, OG, they had the money to spend, so they blew it irresponsibly, creating ongoing obligations they knew - or should have known - would not be affordable when the boom ended. Then, when the going got tough, they condemned the party they had handed all the problems over to. And now they are running up yet more debt and still blaming Labor - despite having dismally FAILED to deliver on their promise to fix everything.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    5:10pm
    But it's all fine. Just hand $65 billion to rich companies in return for donations to the election campaign and keep blaming and ripping off pensioners and SFRs. Not sure what they'll do when the people they are stealing from run out of money, though, which will happen very soon!
    Misty
    8th May 2018
    7:09pm
    That Blue Tie is getting darker by the minute OG.
    Misty
    9th May 2018
    1:55pm
    OG, Howard, Costello and Hockey didn't have a GFC to contend with not like Labor had, different times, different circumstances so you cannot really compare them.
    Ironman162
    8th May 2018
    1:48pm
    Where did Costello go when Australia needed a treasurer? As I recall he declined, ran and hide and now he is Wisdom itself from his armchair.
    Perhaps we should take less notice of what Costello, dishonest John Howard, Bon Hawk or Keating has to say.
    Old Geezer
    8th May 2018
    1:50pm
    Nay they are all has-beens creating trouble to get in the lime light.
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    1:50pm
    Yes - politicians past who bear the responsibility for stuffing the nation should be muzzled and told to shut up, lest they put their other foot in their mouth.
    Adrianus
    8th May 2018
    2:06pm
    They should only be allowed one ABC interview annually to talk about themselves enthusiastically, while the rest of us should be given advance notice of their vocal chords warming up. Similar to a 24hr air raid siren warning.
    MD
    8th May 2018
    2:16pm
    Yeh, Pete hit the nail on the head alright, his powers of perception are amazing. "Probably never get back to where we were" - both he and most of us may very well be dead by the time it takes. It may be of some concern to him but I for one won't give it a second thought, much less worry about it.
    What's the point of being retired and still chasing an elusive dream by tilting at windmills ?
    maelcolium
    8th May 2018
    2:27pm
    And this pearl of wisdom from the parasite who splurged the mining construction boom surpluses. Thanks for that!

    8th May 2018
    4:45pm
    Labor was handed a perfect economy and balance sheet
    The bastards turned it all to poo
    Anonymous
    8th May 2018
    5:00pm
    Only a dunce believes that garbage, Raphael. Labor inherited obligations that were set up by the LNP despite being unaffordable once the boom ended, and instead of boom conditions, Labor dealt with the GFC. Now the LNP has demonstrated its gross incompetence by driving the debt through the roof. NEITHER party knows anything about economic management. A smart housewife could do better than the morons we are paying a king's ransom to rip off the nation.
    Old Geezer
    8th May 2018
    5:50pm
    Rubbish OGR Labor just spend like there was no tomorrow and now we are paying for it in more ways than one.
    Misty
    8th May 2018
    7:16pm
    I see Raphael is also wearing his Blue Tie.
    Anonymous
    9th May 2018
    9:20am
    OG's even bluer. And his head is full of garbage, believing LNP lies.
    Misty
    9th May 2018
    9:54am
    I don't know what sort of life OG has led but it doesn't seem to have been one where he encountered any hardships like most of us have over our lifetime, but if he has it certainly doesn't show in his comments here.
    Old Geezer
    9th May 2018
    11:27am
    Hardships are just part of life so get used to them. I certainly have.
    Misty
    9th May 2018
    1:59pm
    It doesn't seemed to have taught you compassion OG, maybe if yhou took a walk in somebody else's shoes you may just become a bit more humane.
    Misty
    8th May 2018
    7:02pm
    Wasn't PC supposed to be our best treasurer ever?
    Lookfar
    8th May 2018
    7:59pm
    True, Misty, Raphael and OG are just repeating their old cliches like a crack in the record, only HS above mentions the difference between spending overseas, (reduces our balance of payments) and spending locally, - stimulates the economy, provides jobs, more tax receipts for the Govt etc, - I don't think PC ever really got that either.
    4b2
    9th May 2018
    11:36am
    Lest we forget the highest taxing Treasurer Australia has ever had. Never got a forecast right in any budget. Lucky there was a mining boom. And thanks for the GST.
    Adrianus
    9th May 2018
    12:12pm
    Interesting how history has two different views. Some say that Labor had a problem balancing the budget because Costello and his mates dropped the taxes?
    dougie
    10th May 2018
    11:10am
    Of course none of us have any idea as to our own or Mr Costello's longevity. Maybe he has a terminal problem. He may be aware of some problem and is able to make such a prediction only time and politics will tell. Who knows what the other lot will do.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles