Interview with Senator Joyce: Topics: Chris Smith, Senator Barnaby Joyce
Subjects: Budget black hole
Chris Smith: Senator Barnaby Joyce, good to have you on the program.
Barnaby Joyce: My pleasure, how are you?
Chris Smith: I’m well. Where are you today?
Barnaby Joyce: Well I’m actually making my way to Canberra, but I’m stopping off in Tamworth on the way. The bloke I used to stay with, he and his wife, unfortunately he passed away from cancer so I’m going to the service for that. I was going to go to Rockhampton but changed direction.
Chris Smith: So, you’re heading to, hopefully, a new place. Have you done any polling of late to work out how close you’re going to get to Tony Windsor?
Barnaby Joyce: It’s going to be tough. Mr Windsor will desperately say he wasn’t there, he’s not responsible for this government and he didn’t put them there. I will keep on reminding people that he did. The only reason that we’re $270 billion in debt is because he put them there. The only reason that we’re heading towards another $12 billion deficit is because he put them there. The only reason we have a carbon tax is because he put them there. He’ll be saying it wasn’t me, it was somebody else, I was away that day.
Chris Smith: The Prime Minister’s big budget black hole, estimates now putting the budget deficit anywhere between ten and $20 billion which is not a bad effort considering we were told that less than a year ago that we’d have a surplus of $1.3 billion. How is it possible that $21 billion goes missing Barnaby?
Barnaby Joyce: Bad management, simple as that. What happens is, they’re spending 12 bucks and only bringing in 10 and sure enough you start running out of dough. All of your listeners would understand that the deficit is just like the loss of the government for the year. The real problem of course is the debt that sits behind it. The debt is getting bigger and bigger. They had a good week last week, they only borrowed another half a billion dollars last week. The week before they borrowed another two billion. If you put the price of your house out to $300,000 a pop that’s 6,000 houses that they borrowed for the week a fortnight ago. They borrowed for another thousand or so last week.
Chris Smith: They keep talking about their debt to GDP ratio. “It falls in line with the rest of the world”. The rest of the world is a basket case right now, how dare they compare us with the rest of the world right now.
Barnaby Joyce: Yes Chris, that’s like walking around the graveyard saying: “This person’s more dead than that one”. It’s irrelevant. Once you’re out the backdoor, it’s irrelevant. It becomes an argument in sophistry, an argument in rather large numbers you can’t repay. This is a garbage argument: “Oh, we’re not as bad as Greece. We’re not as bad as Portugal”. I hope not. If we keep going the way we’re going, Ms Gillard, Mr Swan, Mr Windsor and Christine Milne if they keep running the show, don’t worry we’ll get there.
Chris Smith: I had to laugh when I was hearing this long speech of 33 minute duration, off and on through my commercial breaks here yesterday. I was hearing this reference to company tax revenue being down and company tax revenue usually gives us, company tax revenue has hit us and company tax… I thought to myself, no wonder company tax revenue is down, because if they open their damn eyes they would have seen companies close left, right and centre.
Barnaby Joyce: People are doing it tough. I was talking to a manufacturer the other day. He travelled 500km to have dinner with us and amongst the things he wanted to show me was his carbon tax bill: $12.1 million for the year. He said: “What that means to me is that I should go to another country. Why do you guys do this? What is wrong with you people? If I moved to America this is my cost. If I move to Asia here’s my cost but I choose to stay here. Guess who gave me these costs – the government!”
Chris Smith: They change the goalposts so often. The other goalposts they’re about to change if you believe some of the scribes today, is this Medicare levy. We’re going to get to the stage where we’re upping the Medicare levy for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Shouldn’t they be looking at the bank, that is, our bank, the National Bank and say: “Hang on a second we’re in such crisis at the moment, maybe we’ll hold off on that for a while”, like most people do in business, like most people do with their house budgets.
Barnaby Joyce: The first thing they should be getting, as a little old bush accountant, they should be getting their day to day finances under control. Then other good things that you want to happen like the National Disability Insurance Scheme can be paid for. This idea that: “Oh we don’t know where the money is going to come from so what we’re going to do is borrow more money and if we can’t borrow it, we’re just going to tax you”. That’s just a sign that they’re financially out of control. The people with disability are a soft spot for me and I do want to do something to help them. My gosh you get frustrated when you find the money that has been put up against the wall and all these nutty ideas and when a good idea comes up they have no money for it. We’re beyond not having any money for it. We’re getting to the point where we can’t borrow. We won’t be able to extend our credit limit and we won’t be able to borrow more money.
Chris Smith: You said as soon as they get money they spent more, remember they didn’t get a zap from the mining tax and they spent that on handouts remember before they even got anything.
Barnaby Joyce: This is how stupid they are. They basically said” “We’ve got this ticket in the lottery and now we’re going to buy the house and oh gosh, the lottery didn’t come in. That’s a bad plan, that’s bad luck. Let’s put out a media release blaming somebody about that”.
Chris Smith: Yesterday was a shocker and as I said at the beginning of the program, someone who stands there for as long as the Prime Minister did to come up with a series of excuses as to why everything is stuffed, is a person who is more culpable every minute she speaks.
Barnaby Joyce: I don’t think anyone is listening. I had to deal with the same thing in this area, I had Mr Windsor say that he wanted to bring about a referendum on gay marriage, however he wasn’t going to bring it up with the Prime Minister and if it did come up he wasn’t going to vote for it. I was trying to translate that for people and it’s called confusion – mass confusion.
Chris Smith: The race to become Prime Minister doesn’t just involve Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, Clive Palmer’s thrown his hat in the ring. Is the Coalition under threat of having their votes diluted because of Palmer?
Barnaby Joyce: Clive’s a mate but a lot of things he’s doing of late things are getting out there. Clive’s a good bloke. I don’t know why we’ve got this distraction here. It doesn’t quite work like that. As you know to set up a political party you’ve got to have members, branches, policies, people willing to give up their jobs and go campaigning for you. It costs a lot of money and I know he has a lot of money but it takes a lot of money to run a campaign.
Chris Smith: I’ve got to tell you that Clive Palmer may be one of your mates but he doesn’t count Tony Abbot as one of his mates. This is what he told me yesterday when he was in the studio.
Chris Smith: Tony Abbott has never been Prime Minister.
Clive Palmer: Thank God for that.
Chris Smith: His party has never been in the position of running the country, is there a sense of vengeance?
Clive Palmer: Not really. My number one criticism is that all sides of politics wherever they’re from, have lobbyists who are not elected, who advise them. If you go to Parliament House, there’s a box in Parliament House, on the floor of Parliament where the advisers sit. Tony Abbott goes over and gets advice from his advisor and someone else gets advice from theirs. Those advisers have direct links, were or are or will become in the future, employed by lobbyist companies. If you go to those companies, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Liberal or a Labor Government who you want to influence policy, they’ll assist you for a fee. I think that’s subrogating the Australian rights.
Chris Smith: Thank God Tony Abbott has never become Prime Minister he said.
Barnaby Joyce: That’s not helpful. The thing is, if Clive’s got a problem with advisers and lobbyists, that’s great, let’s deal with that problem. What are we going to do? Leave the Labor Party there and the Greens and the independents to run the show for another three years? What do you think is going to be left of this country if they stay there for another three years? You won’t have to worry about me campaigning there for another three years because honestly I would be lying to you if I said I’d know how to fix it.
Chris Smith: This is all about vengeance isn’t it?
Barnaby Joyce: Vengeance is a bad thing. Vengeance eats you up and gets you nowhere. You have to learn to park grief and move on. If you start carrying around a bucketful of bile no one cares about it, it just eats you up.
Chris Smith: What’s your message to Clive?
Barnaby Joyce: Clive help us get the country back on the rails. We don’t need any more instability. I’ve got to give up my job, an easy-paying job to have a crack at a seat where the bloke has 71 per cent of the two-party preferred vote. Why? Because our nation has got to get back on the rails. We all have to put our shoulder in to get the show back on the rails, not try and sink the boat. If we sink the boat we all go down with it.
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