Thursday, September 17, 2009

A rare moment indeed when an Australian politician criticises the Murdoch press!

Question time in The Senate [17/9/09]

"Senator HUTCHINS (2.07 pm)—Mr President, my question is to the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Sherry. Is the Assistant Treasurer aware that overnight the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released the 2009 Employment outlook annual report? Can the Assistant Treasurer tell the Senate about this latest independent assessment of Australia’s economy? What does the OECD say about the role of the government’s stimulus package in Australia’s economic performance during this global recession, especially in comparison with other advanced economies? Does the OECD report indicate whether the government’s stimulus package has lifted employment and whether the number of jobless would now be higher without the stimulus strategy, and, if so, does it say how many jobs this swift and decisive government action has saved? Finally, does the OECD report forecast whether the government stimulus strategy will have—

(Time expired)

Senator SHERRY—Firstly, the OECD is a worldleading, independent and well-respected economic organisation. It states that job losses across the OECD would have been far higher if national governments had not implemented fiscal stimulus packages. The fiscal stimulus strategy and actions of governments around the world have in fact avoided a depression.

Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting—

Senator SHERRY—It is a lot more reliable, Senator Macdonald, than the Australian. This is what the report says: Vigorous government actions to stabilise financial markets and raise aggregate demand appear to have prevented the financial crisis from developing into a depression, but have not been adequate to prevent a severe recession in most OECD countries. ‘Vigorous government actions’? Let’s see: they would be the fiscal stimulus and the bank guarantee. These are the very things that the Liberal and National parties have continued to criticise, attack and oppose...."

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