I do love that rare, near-extinct breed … the Straight-Talkin’ politician:
2GB Chris Smith Afternoon Show Transcript
7 May 2013
Topics: Beef industry crisis, Budget deficit.
Chris Smith: Barnaby, good afternoon.
Barnaby Joyce: Good afternoon Chris. How are you today mate?
Chris Smith: I’m very well. I’ve heard from your team to say that you are in Richmond at a beef industry meeting, but this is not the Richmond near Windsor in Sydney right? You’re in the middle of Queensland.
Barnaby Joyce: This is Richmond in the Gulf. We’re up here because we have a Beef Crisis Meeting. What that means Chris is that last week we had cattle selling for merely $20 a head at Longreach. That’s disastrous. When you think that you’d need 25 head of cattle to pay for the fortnightly groceries. You can’t do that, you’re not going to survive.
What is it caused by? Well, three things. One thing is the drought. There’s not much you can do about that except pray for rain. There are two you can do something about. One is the live cattle trade. When you shut it down; it completely decimated our markets so that people don’t have a market to sell into. Now all those cattle are going south and they’re forcing down the price in other areas.
The Indonesians are happily sitting back saying: “Well you made our life a misery and now we’re making your life a misery”. That’s why we need to be so careful that we never overreact. Sometimes we see these terrible things on television. They’re terrible but we have to fix the problem not stuff the industry.
We have a parliamentary secretary who doesn’t believe in the live cattle trade. This just shows you how incompetent the Labor Government is.
Chris Smith: It’s so out of whack. Maybe it’s because of all those farming-oriented cabinet members Barnaby?
Barnaby Joyce: They just don’t seem to get it. Why isn’t the Trade Minister Mr Emerson, instead of doing his funny little dances and his OP Ed pieces about et al and sundry, why isn’t he, the actual Trade Minister, over there trying to fix up our trade? Why isn’t he over in Indonesia trying to fix it up?
The other thing is the dollar’s high. The dollar, if you actually want to, you can actually affect it. It’s not written on tablets of stone and presented from Mount Sinai. You can influence the price of the dollar down if there is real motivation and desire to do so. One of the reasons they don’t do it is because they want to be economically pure. The way we’re going at the moment we’re going to be pure in debt, economically dead, so let’s make sure we keep our industry going.
Chris Smith: Let’s give people an idea. You’re saying $20 a head, right? Two years ago, one head of cattle sold for $500. That’s how far the industry has plummeted.
Barnaby Joyce: Yes, obviously they didn’t all sell for $20 a head but that was the bottom of sale. It gives you a sense that what happens then, so your listeners would understand, people won’t sell them at the saleyards; they’ll just shoot them in the paddock because the cost of transport is more than what you’re going to get. More to the point, these people are under the pump. The bank manager’s screaming at them, the values of their place is going down. If you think about it in another way, imagine if you got your pay packet and it was only a fifth of the money or an eighth of the money you usually got in it. You’d be a little bit shocked wouldn’t you?
Chris Smith: Now, the deficit, it seems to get worse by the day. We’ve had Penny Wong this morning on the ABC today confirming the blow out will hit $17 billion.
Penny Wong: What I can confirm is that we are facing a very significant revenue shortfall from what was anticipated. Certainly in the current financial year if you look at what was expected at Budget until now, we’re going to be receiving as a government, about $17 billion less and we do anticipate that we will see revenues hit across the Forward Estimates. So, in that context, given the challenges the Budget faces and the nation faces, the Government has to take responsible decisions, so we have indicated today that we won’t be proceeding with the boost, the additional boost to the Family Tax Benefits that was planned for later this year. That’s a regrettable decision, but one that’s responsible in the economic circumstance.
Chris Smith: Okay, so the Family Tax Benefit is out of the picture because there will be no added bonus associated with that. Another broken promise out the window – but they have to do that. While Penny Wong tells it how it is Barnaby, we have the Prime Minister yesterday with school children, she seems to have school children with her almost every week now, she didn’t think the deficit was such a problem.
Julia Gillard: Now, we’ve got to work our way back to a surplus and obviously pay off the debt, but the scale of the debt is around 10 per cent of GDP. What does that mean? It’s the same as someone who earns $100,000 a year, having a mortgage of $10,000. I think most of you would know, you’re probably living in homes mum and dad are buying, that they have mortgages well in excess of $10,000 and they would happily change places with someone whose mortgage was just 10 per cent of their income. That’s not something that you have to worry about.
Chris Smith: So Barnaby, relax, it’s only a $10,000 mortgage.
Barnaby Joyce: She’s an imbecile. This is incredible, the debt as we speak right now is $271.1 billion gross. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself, AOFM, Australian Office of Financial Management website. On top of that you’re going to have your state debt. Of course if things fall over you’ll be picking up the state debt as well. Between the State and Federal Government debt we would be well in excess of half a trillion dollars. Our GDP of this nation is 1.3 to 1.4 trillion dollars. So if my mathematics are correct, even if you just take the Federal Government debt, it’s getting close to 15 to 20 per cent of our GDP.
Dear reader, this really, REALLY angers me.
The “GDP” fallacy.
GDP is not … NOT … government income!!!!!!!!!!!
The government’s income (ie, from taxing us) for this financial year, was projected in the October MYEFO to be $373 billion. Finance Minister Penny Wong has now declared that the actual budget outcome will likely be $17 billion less than predicted. So that’s about $356 billion in annual income for the Federal government this year.
The Federal debt is (so far) $271 billion. Meaning that the Federal Government debt-to-income ratio is 76%.
So Ms Gillard … and Barnaby … the correct, honest analogy would be as follows:
“It’s the same as someone who receives $35,600 a year on public welfare, having a personal line-of-credit of $27,100.”
Please, please … get this right! GDP is not … NOT … government income!!
Chris Smith: She’s fiddling with the numbers mate.
Barnaby Joyce: You see what they do, it’s so annoying, they say, “Oh the net debt, the net debt…” So where are we going to get this magic money Ms Gillard to pay off your gross debt? Where they’re going to get it is the cash reserves in the Future Fund. The Future Fund’s there to pay the public servants’ superannuation because they never put the money aside for. So all you’re doing to taking money from one credit card to pay off the other credit card and both credit cards are overdrawn.
Chris Smith: So there was no real surprise about the Newspoll results today. Labor’s primary vote has fallen to 31. That’s normally shock horror stuff. I just get the feeling that we’ve become desensitised to these numbers now.
Barnaby Joyce: The Australian people have given up on them. The Greens and the independents go with this crowd. They’re also ducking for cover now, pretending they weren’t there. Mr Windsor gave us this government. Mr Oakeshott gave us this government. The reason they’ve done this to our country is because they let them. To this day they are supporting them. They’re all in there together. They all wanted their time in the sun where they ran the show. Well they ran the show and what an absolute and categorical disaster it is, from Richmond in the north where they’re dealing with a cattle industry in crisis to down in the south where we’re running out of money. Left, right and centre and all over the joint, we’ve gone out the back door.
Chris Smith: I want to put this to listeners this afternoon, Julia Gillard also last night spoke about her desire to see more female Prime Ministers and hoped there would be less focus on makeup, hairstyles and choice of fashion. Now as I remember, a lot of the cartoonists and commentators had a great deal of fun with his glasses and his eyebrows. What about Bob Carr’s glasses, etcetera, etcetera? I don’t think that we’ve been overly critical of Julia Gillard’s state of dress or what she wore or how she looked any more than we mentioned the same with other Prime Ministers. It’s just how good you do the job.
Barnaby Joyce: We all get caricatures. They’ve had me tangled up in barbed wire fences and hayseeds hanging out of my mouth. It comes with the territory. If you don’t like the heat get out of the kitchen. They probably will have more female Prime Ministers and I hope they do, but by gosh I hope they’re vastly more competent than the current one we’ve got.