Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Wayne Swan stands by Labor’s economic record

Given the opportunity to distance himself from the economic mismanagement of the previous Labor Government and prove that Labor under Latham had learned some lessons from the past, Wayne Swan surprisingly chose to stand by Labor’s economic record on Channel Ten’s Meet the Press program today.

Paul Bongiorno: Is economic credibility Labor’s Achilles heel?
Wayne Swan: I don’t believe so.

Senator Patterson said, “Either Mr Swan has not learnt from the past or he believes that it is acceptable to have interest rates of 17%, a million people unemployed and leaving Australians with a debt of $96.6 billion. That is Labor’s record.”

The Coalition Government has repaid over $60 billion of Labor’s debt, freeing up $5 billion a year that was being paid in interest but which instead is now been given to families, including in the form of increased family assistance payments and child care benefits.

“In contrast to Labor, the Coalition Government has created over 1.3 million more jobs, delivered record low interest rates, record low unemployment and almost $2 billion extra each year in family assistance and a doubling of expenditure on child care,” said Senator Patterson.

“In the last 6 months alone the Howard Government has created more full time jobs than Labor did in its last six years in office.

Mark Latham and Wayne Swan are long on promises but short on policy detail, including how they propose to fund their promises. Only the Coalition Government has a proven track record of responsible management of the economy and providing record high levels of assistance to families.