3 April 2019
Transcript - #2019057, 2019

Interview with David Koch, Sunrise, Channel 7

2019-20 Budget

DAVID KOCH:

Treasurer, thanks for your time. People would say, you know, this is a box ticking exercise in lead up to the election. Something for every group that you need to woo their vote.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well this budget is about growing the economy and securing a better future for all Australians, Kochie. The surplus that we announced is the first surplus in more than a decade. It’s no accident, it’s the product of disciplined decision making and it means just like your monthly mortgage payments, it will be less as you pay back the principle. You will pay less in interest, and that’s what governments will do and that frees up money to spend more on schools and hospitals. We’ve got a big plan in this budget to grow the economy with a half a billion dollar skills package for 80 thousand new apprentices, as you say, a big set of tax cuts not just for income earners, but also for small businesses and that infrastructure plan, which will ensure that people are getting home sooner from work to be with their family and they can get to work earlier. And we’re doing all of that while investing in the essential services, like mental health, disabilities, aged care and of course hospitals and schools.

DAVID KOCH:

Okay. Big tax cuts. Labor have said, they like them. They’re going to pass them anyhow, as well. Big surpluses from next year on, but, in your speech last night, Josh, you said there was uncertainty about the future of the economy, and particularly overseas. So, how certain are you that you can have an economy strong enough to deliver those surpluses in the future?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, that $7.1 billion is a very significant number. There is of course, a trajectory of growing surpluses in the years ahead and we’re very confident of those forecasts because we’ve under promised and over delivered when it comes to previous budget forecasts and that will be the same this time round. Obviously we do face some slowdown in the global economy, but also domestically, we’re concerned about the housing market. This is a worst possible time Kochie, for Labor’s housing taxes, because that will drive prices even further down, that will impact on household consumption, that will mean that people’s rents will go up.

DAVID KOCH:

But what are you doing about that?

DAVID KOCH:

You’re not doing anything about that, the Budget…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, we’re actually growing the economy…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

No we’re actually – well there’s a series, firstly there’s a series of initiatives in relation to community housing and affordable housing. But also, what we are doing is growing the economy by putting more money into people’s pockets. That increases economic activity, supporting the three million small businesses; that’s important. And the infrastructure spending – we’ve created over one million new jobs; we’re going to create more than a million new jobs. People can rely on us to create jobs and to lower taxes.

DAVID KOCH:

You’ve ignored climate change. Bill Shorten says this is a big black hole for the Coalition. No wages policy. But is climate change not a priority for this Government?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Addressing climate change and reducing emissions is an absolute priority for this Government. And last night, I actually used the words, it’s our important responsibility to protect the environment for future generations and to reduce our emissions and address climate change. In that Budget that I announced last night, there was three and a half billion dollars for a climate solutions package, with real measures to reduce emissions in the lands sector; real measures to get more renewable energy into people’s homes. And of course, we’re investing in the biggest energy storage project with the Snowy 2.0, modernising the vision of Menzies and Chifley. And that’s really important for the renewable energy future of all Australians.

DAVID KOCH:

Okay, first Budget last night, were you nervous? Did you have a stiff drink before you delivered it? Calm the nervous?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

A stiff drink of water, Kochie…

DAVID KOCH:

Ah okay, I was just checking.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Look, I was focussed; I knew how important this was, and obviously this Budget means a lot for all Australians.

DAVID KOCH:

Yep, alright, Treasurer thanks for joining us.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

All the best.