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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Our pensioners are paid one of the lowest pensions in the OECD and their living standard is close to the poverty line. Clive Palmer at media conference Parliament House Canberra Motoring Enthusiast Party to vote against changes to the fuel excise. The most disturbing feature of this measure is, however, the fact that increases are indexed. This means every year, regardless of the state of the economy, regardless of the state of the debt of Australia and the states, the excise will increase—regardless, they will pay more. This indexation will avoid political and public notice, but it will mean that millions of Australians will pay more each year without any announcement in any budget, without any political responsibility. As the OECD tells us, confirmed by the Australian Parliamentary Library, Australia’s debt is 12 per cent of its GDP, and the average debt for the advanced economies is 73 per cent. So for the Treasurer to say that we have a debt problem is just untrue. It is not one promise that has been broken by the Liberal government; it is many. The government is seeking to change our way of life as Australians, to scare us so that they will destroy us out of fear. If I told untruths as a director of a company to my shareholders and raised money for them or got elected to a board position on false representations, I would be charged with deceptive and misleading conduct. So it must be with the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and all the ministers that serve in the government. To seek to impose a new tax in the form of a debt levy, when our debt is not a problem based on its national standards, goes against every Liberal policy, from the day of the foundation of the Liberal Party, and is a betrayal of not only all members of the Liberal Party but all members of the community. The Liberal Party has always been a party that sought to reduce taxation. How can a Liberal government betray their members by imposing a so-called debt levy? The government is trying to create a false impression that there is a debt problem when there is not. Australia’s public social expenditure is less than half of the average of the OECD. Now, more than ever, we need to unite all Australians and oppose this sham budget, make it an election budget for the government and allow the people to vote on it. That is what democracy is all about. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 81


THe Last Sentry at the Gate 1
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