Abbott: Government must "rethink spending" due to floods

Opposition leader reignites NBN debate as Queensland begins flood clean up

The Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, has used a visit to flood-afflicted Queensland to push for a change in Government spending priorities in what is most likely an attack on the National Broadband Network.

Abbott made the comments in Brisbane earlier today. He said it would be more important than ever for the Government to be a “responsible steward of the nation’s finances”.

“I don’t want to get too political at this stage, but the Government needs to be very careful about its priorities,” he said. “It is important that we get back to surplus on schedule but plainly there are going to be very large additional demands on the budget.

“That means the Government needs to rethink its priorities at this time.”

The comments come days after Abbott made similar comments in a Sydney press conference criticising the NBN and the Government’s determination to stick with the rollout despite floods.

“The undoubted substantial costs of responding to the flood disaster in Queensland…call further into question the wisdom of spending $50 billion plus of taxpayers’ money on a NBN,” he said. “I really think that the costs of responding to the flood disaster really emphasise the need to think again on the National Broadband Network.”

Tags Tony Abbottnational broadband networkQueensland floodsNBN

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1 Comment

Ultan Mooney

1

would Abbott just put up or shut up Seriously, Australia's Government debt is 6% of GDP. 6%!!!! We don't need to be "responsible stewards of the nations economy" Forget the dollar figure Abbott loves to throw around for a moment. Billions of dollars always sounds big, but thik about how much it equates to.... 6% of the nations income- its an incredibly small amount of Govt debt.
I doubt there's a reader here that believes that they'd be in any sort of financial stress if 6% of their income was being used to pay off all their debts ( mortgage, car loans, credit cards etc) I doubt there's a single reader here that wouldn't borrow to invest, if they only had 6% debt. As individuals we seem incredibly comfortable taking on debts that require 30, 40, 50% of our income to pay for them, yet somehow we apply a different standard to our Governments. We have been sold ( and bought) this stupid Abbot/Joyce line that as a country we have an enormous and unhealthy debt, and the nation should never run deficits. Our debt is 6% folks...thats it. So why on earth shouldn't we go into some debt to build an NBN? And while we're at it, why cant we take on some other badly needed nation building tasks. Would it really be so terrible to double the nations debt to 12% of GDP for example, and pay for every piece of road and rail infrasutructure we are lacking- adding significant capacity to the country's economy, breathing new life into our non major cities, and simultaneously dramatically lowering inflation and allowing us to aggressively grow our population, so as to create a much bigger tax base?? Further, would it be grossly irresponsible to take the debt a little higher s we could drought proof the place too, allowing us to irrigate inland, create new agricultural industries and revitalise our inland cities populations? We know it can be done, but its a 20 year series of projects requiring $60-80 billionb, but if we had the will.... Australia could se itself up for another century of growth and wealth. We really do have short term thinking politicians running the place- and Abbott is the shortset of the all. 6%, thats all we owe the world.... anyone with an ounce of acumen would realise thats an opportunity to responsibly take on more debt that will reap enormous benefits in decades to come... please Tony Abbott- hush.

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