Alan Jones and Australian Conservatives united alarm on spiralling debt

April 18, 2018

"The Australian Conservatives have long held the belief that the Australian Government needs to rein in its exploding debt and introducing a debt ceiling is the only way to do that," Senator Bernardi said.

Mr Jones tweeted this week:

In February, Senator Bernardi tabled a bill to impose a debt limit of $600 billion on the federal government.

He said the need for this restraint was urgent  because:

"With burgeoning Coalition government spending and its ­accompanying interest payments showing no signs of appreciably slowing down, it’s time to put the brakes on.

The long-term consequences of this cavalier approach to intergenerational debt is clear.

Look what happened to some of the poorer European countries that couldn’t keep their spending and debt under control — economic collapse and all of the ­accompanying social problems that result.

Looking past the forward estimates, the latest government ­figures show we are heading for a mind-boggling debt of $684bn in 10 years.

This is simply unsustainable.

It’s clear that the Coalition government has as little regard as Labor for the cost of our ballooning debt and the long-term consequences. Both want to kick the can down the road for future generations and future governments to deal with. We owe more to our children than this.

After 10 years of empty pro­mises about a budget surplus being “just around the corner”, we need a serious reality check. It’s clear that fiscally responsible government starts with the Australian Conservatives. That’s why next week I’ll be introducing a private member’s bill to reinstate the federal government’s debt limit and to cap it at $600bn in an attempt to stop the cycle of Liberal and Labor debt and deficit that is now threatening to spiral out of control.

The plain fact of the matter is that we are witnessing inter­generational theft on a grand scale that will see our children, our grandchildren and their children struggling to pay back a debt that is growing faster than it can be ­repaid.

The Australian parliament is awash with red — red ink and red politics — even from some on the right of the political spectrum.

Few in Canberra know what a surplus looks like any more. There is never any serious talk now about paying back debt, and as one Liberal backbencher said recently: “Well, in 2021, if we ­deliver a surplus of $7 billion and we do that every year for the next 100 years, we’ll be able to pay back the debt that we’ve got by then.”

A 100-year plan to pay for a decade of spendthrift waste.

There is one iron law of economics: all debt must be repaid at some point. This responsibility falls to us, not our children. We must stop the debt explosion now, before it does irreparable damage to our economy.

The Coalition government prefers not to talk about the fact that as soon as 2020 the country will be faced with interest costs amounting to about $20 billion a year. That would build a lot of roads and hospitals, it could fund substantial tax cuts to strengthen our flagging economy.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for successive Australian governments, in their frenzy of addiction to excessive spending, to pass the problem on.

Instead of moving to fix the debt and deficit crisis once and for all, they are forcing us to ­impose a crushing tax burden on successive generations of workers to support the failure and irresponsibility of the present ­political class.

The Australian Conservatives want to change that, because no one else will."

To see Senator Bernardi's speech to the Senate on the need to introduce a debt ceiling, click the box below:

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