If Labor gets elected the boats will start again

If Labor gets elected the boats will start again

We saw the Labor Party and the Greens and the independents get together to badly weaken our tough border protection policies and what this shows is that Labor is bad, and the Greens and the independents are worse, because it was originally an independents measure which the Greens latched upon.

TRANSCRIPT OF THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MP,
INTERVIEW WITH RAY HADLEY, 2GB

E&OE


RAY HADLEY
Every second Monday I’m joined by the former Prime Minister and Member for Warringah, Tony Abbott, he’s on the line right now. Mr Abbott, good morning.

TONY ABBOTT
Ray, lovely to be with you and your listeners.

RAY HADLEY
A lot has happened since we last spoke and I don’t want to say that I told you so but I’ve been saying for the last three years: the one defining thing between your party and the party that would be government is border protection. It’s not in their DNA, it’s never been in their DNA and what happened last week illustrates that it’s still not in their DNA.

TONY ABBOTT
Well that’s right. We saw the Labor Party and the Greens and the independents get together to badly weaken our tough border protection policies and what this shows is that Labor is bad, and the Greens and the independents are worse, because it was originally an independents measure which the Greens latched upon and then Labor decided to back it after a little bit of slight watering down but the bottom line of this, Ray, is that you can’t trust Labor, you can’t trust independents, you can’t trust the Greens to keep our country and our borders safe. That’s the problem.

RAY HADLEY
It’s a strange old set of circumstances. You’ve got Kerryn Phelps coming to parliament after the former Prime Minister resigned, petulantly took off to the United States of America. She gets a primary vote which shouldn’t see her elected but on preferences she gets across the line. Had she not been elected, just say for instance Dave Sharma had been elected and the status quo remains, well you don’t have Bill Shorten shooting himself in the foot, you don’t have a 51-49 Ipsos poll today and Labor in strife, as opposed to winning the next election in May comfortably.

TONY ABBOTT
Well I guess that’s the strange alchemy of politics: you never know what’s around the corner. But what is around the corner for the Australian people if Labor gets elected is the boats will start again, the deaths at sea will start again, we’ll get more taxes, we’ll get the CFMEU in charge of the economy and that’s got to be bad news for everyone. You see, Ray, I am the first to admit that sometimes this government hasn’t been great at politics but throughout our time we’ve been a highly competent, pretty effective government. The borders are secure, our community is the safest government can make it, our economy is strong, we’ve had more than a million new jobs in five years, we’ve cut taxes, we’ve got rid of destructive and counterproductive taxes like the carbon tax and the mining tax, the budget is coming back into surplus which means there are more tax cuts in prospect down the track. So for all the political ups and downs, it’s been a highly competent and effective government. If there’s a change of government come May, we’ll get the worst Labor government in our history, with the CFMEU in charge of the economy and the Greens in charge of society. Just look at Bill Shorten’s new taxes: there’s the capital gains tax changes which will put your house price down and put your rent up; then there’s the retiree tax which is going to rip thousands of dollars out of the pockets of people who’ve worked hard and saved for their retirement, including about 10,000 people in my electorate of Warringah; and then of course there’s Labor’s climate change obsessions, their emissions obsessions, which are going to put the price of power even further up and jeopardise the stability of the grid and send all our manufacturing off shore. It’s a pretty catastrophic prospect that Australians face if there is a change of government. I’m the first to admit that the government has not been perfect, but on balance it’s been pretty good and the alternative is just dreadful.

RAY HADLEY
I’m just looking at the electoral commission’s result for the Wentworth by-election, in relation to you and comparing it. First preference, primary vote, Sharma 43.08, Kerryn Phelps 29.19, we go up to two-party preferred, Sharma 48.78, Phelps 51.22 elected. You’re confronting the same sort of problems with a high profile candidate in your seat come the federal election later this year. How do you combat that? How do you combat the preferences?

TONY ABBOTT
Well the basic point to make is that a vote for an independent is really a vote for Labor and Labor’s higher taxes and soft border protection. That’s the basic message that I’ve got to get out. The other thing that I think is unique to Warringah is that the independents there, they don’t have any positive message other than sort-of vague waffle about climate. Mind you, I note that my principal opponent has said that Labor doesn’t go far enough on climate change, and she’s admitted that she’s never voted Liberal in her life, at least at a federal election.

RAY HADLEY
But she’s portraying herself as a conservative independent!

TONY ABBOTT
Absolute rubbish. Complete and absolute tosh. It’s just nonsense. My main opponent, she didn’t vote for the Howard government, she never even voted for the Turnbull government! So how left have you got to be not to vote for the Turnbull government, and this is the basic problem, there’s this talk that she’s an economic conservative but a social progressive, no, no, no, no, no she’s left on everything, simple as that, and a vote for any independent is effectively a vote for Labor, it brings a Shorten government and Labor’s taxes closer and closer. And it also means that the prospects of getting the Northern Beaches Tunnel, which is the one issue which would transform for the better forever our area, it’ll be off again because Labor’s promise is not to fund the tunnel.

RAY HADLEY
Just on the Ipsos poll, that’s one thing and it’s being credited to border protection policies and we discussed that with Kerryn Phelps. But this Galaxy poll that we might not have caught up within The Courier Mail today, there’s a couple of questions here, does Labor’s plan to end negative gearing make you more or less likely to vote Labor? More likely 19, less likely 38. And then does Labor’s plan to abolish cash refunds for franking credits for self-funded retirees make you more or less likely to vote Labor, 13% would vote Labor, 46% said no they won’t. So all of a sudden he’s got a problem. Then there’s a story today in The Australian newspaper about a couple of professionals who are vets, Derek Wells and his wife, both vets, she’s now retired, he’s planning to retire, and he says that the couple have had to cut their expenditure wherever possible in anticipation of a Labor government that would slash up to $20,000, or one third, of their annual retirement income. These are two people, described by you many times as lifters not leaners, who are preparing, having had 40 years of service, 40 plus years of hard work, paying tax, paying their way, who getting it jammed to them.

TONY ABBOTT
This is exactly right, Ray, people do the right thing. If they’re thrifty, if they’re frugal, if they’re prudent, if they don’t want to be a burden on the taxpayer, surely the last thing they need is to be slugged in this way, to have money which should be theirs, effectively double taxed, first in the hands of the company which pays tax, and then in their own hands. It was Keating back in the 80s who said, when he bought in dividend imputation, there shouldn’t be double taxation of company profits, and then of course it was Howard who brought in franking credit rebates and at the time it was supported by Simon Crean, who was the shadow treasurer, who said this complements and completes the Keating reform. It just goes to show how bad Labor is now, that even the sensible measures of Paul Keating, they’re against. It shows how the Labor Party has lost economic responsibility, has become much, much less fit for government in the last two decades.

RAY HADLEY
Just going back in history, and we’ll finish where we started, with what happened in 2001. And I’ve gone through it a number of times on air to illustrate to my listeners, well before what happened here. August 2001, MV Tampa occurs. According to the opinion polls, which I know you disregard, Kim Beazley would’ve been Prime Minister. MV Tampa happens, John Howard is very strong, very resilient, and he goes to the election and wins comprehensively. Comprehensively. So in the space of August, September, October, November, that three and a half month period they turn it all around and I said to my listeners last time, it’s an illustration of what can happen in a very short space of time.

TONY ABBOTT
The weekend before the 2004 election, the Howard government was down 46-54 in the polls. Governments that have conviction and character can come back, there’s no doubt about that. And what I think we’ve seen from the Prime Minister and from his senior ministers over the last few months is conviction and character and I think we’ll see more of that over the next couple of months. John Howard said very famously back in 2001 “we will control who comes to this country and the circumstances under which they come”. Labor’s message is doctors will control who comes to this country and the circumstances under which they come. And much as I admire the medical profession, the medical profession are big on compassion, as they should be, but in the end governments have got to put the national interest first.

RAY HADLEY
Thanks as always, we’ll talk in a fortnight.

TONY ABBOTT
Thanks Ray.

 

[ENDS]