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Source: Australian Treasurer

DITTS:

The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg. Good morning.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Good morning, Roo. Good morning, Ditts. Lovely to be back in Adelaide.

ROO:

Coming to get some more Crows players? I know you’re a Carlton man. You’ve got Mitch McGovern, you’ve got Eddie Betts, who’s next in your sights? You want Bryce Gibbs back?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, no, I think Gibbs had his last game, but I tell you what, he’s been a great player and a great guy. And it was terrific to see the Carlton players get around him for his last game. Which was a win, of course, much to my disappointment.

DITTS:

Now, we better talk politics in just a moment. But who’s been your favourite Carlton player of all time?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, where do you start? Fitzpatrick, number three, Jesaulenko. Of course, Greg Wells. Vinne Catoggio. Do you remember Warren Ralph, number 22? Kenny Hunter number nine. Chooka Howell. Jeff Southby, number 20.

DITTS:

Gee we’re going back a while. Now what brings you to Adelaide? Have you got some cash to splash around?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Look, in the 2021 budget there more than $600 million of government funding for various land transport projects across SA. This morning I’ll be out to the Adelaide Holocaust Museum, which is an important museum that remembers, obviously a tragedy, and we’re making an extra contribution there and I’ll be there with Steven Marshall. We’re also heading out to some infrastructure projects and also out to the Norwood Football Club.

ROO:

Steven Marshall’s territory out there. The big new renovation on their facilities out there. Treasurer, wasn’t long ago when John Howard was in office, we had $50 billion the bank. Now, your projections are in a couple of years we’re going to be a trillion in the red. When you put your head on the pillow, surely you think, gee, that’s a big number.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

It certainly is and it’s all because of COVID-19. And we knew we had to do something, guys. And we knew we needed an economic security blanket across the country. That was JobKeeper. That’s helped stabilise the labour market. And then in the Budget, we’re transitioning off JobKeeper with obviously tax cuts, more infrastructure spending, supporting businesses, as well as those hiring credits to get younger people from the unemployment queues into work.

ROO:

I know a big debt is not an issue when interest rates are at record lows. Do we stick our head in the dirt or do we worry about it another day when interest rates rise and it becomes a problem paying off the debt, or what’s your thoughts on that?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well we’ve always got to be very sensible and responsible when it comes to spending taxpayer money and conscious of what those debt levels are. Importantly, when they get to their highest level as a proportion of the economy in just a few year’s time, that will be less than half the ratio that you see in other countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. So we’re so much better placed than other countries to get through this crisis. The unemployment levels, of course, have picked up. But over the coming years that will come down and in the Budget there’s lots of new spending designed to get more people back into work and create jobs.

DITTS:

This argument will always come up, I know, but you’ve introduced this two tier tax system. How do you answer the criticism of people that say, well, the rich are getting more tax relief than what the poor are? In other words, if you earn more you’re going to get more back than what the lower income earners are. Should it be the other way around?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, what the facts show is that we have a very progressive tax system. So the more you earn, the more you pay. So if somebody is earning $200,000, they will pay 10 times as much as somebody who’s earning $45,000. The top 5 per cent of taxpayers will pay the third of the overall tax burden. So we do have a very progressive tax system. What we’re seeking to do is to create a more simpler, stronger and fairer system, so that we have one big tax bracket between $45,000 and $200,000 where people pay no more than 30 cents in the dollar. That will encourage people to work and obviously will provide reward for effort and that’s what we believe in as Liberals.

DITTS:

Treasurer, thanks so much for joining us this morning. And, look, if you run out of ideas on how to spend your cash, we’ve got a list for you. We can gladly send it through.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Good to be with you guys.

MIL OSI News