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Tea Party Tony’s debt ceiling disaster

Media Release
Christine Milne 30 May 2012

The Opposition's economically reckless attempt to block lifting Australia's debt ceiling to levels that would still be amongst the lowest in the world demonstrate that Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb cannot be trusted with Australia's economy, the Greens said today.

"Blocking lifting the debt ceiling risks a devastating impact on the Australian economy, leading to massive disruption for millions of people, for absolutely no reason," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"This ridiculous debate is more clear demonstration, on top of their ongoing scare campaigns over putting a price on pollution and sharing the benefits of the mining bubble, that Tony Abbott's Opposition simply cannot be trusted with Australia's economy, let alone our society or environment.

"Australia's debt to GDP ratio, at about 28%, is the second lowest of all OECD countries. Compare it to the OECD average of 106%, the US's 104%, the UK's 97% or Japan's 219%.

"In this context, it is sheer economic ignorance to suggest that Australia shouldn't lift the debt ceiling.

"All this is is Tony Abbott taking his riding instructions from the antics of the Tea Party in the USA, which tried the same tactics and brought the world's largest economy to the brink of even worse economic chaos. Nobody would want that kind of politics in Australia.

"Just because the debt ceiling is lifted does not mean it would be reached. It only means we have the space, in case seasonal economic changes during the year make it necessary, to avoid a crunch which would lead to services being shut down, public servants not being paid, pensions going unpaid and more.

"The greatest irony of all is that lifting the debt ceiling now gives the government enough breathing space, but it would not be enough to save the Coalition from serious trouble of its own thanks to its $70 billion budget black hole."


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