Sky News The Morning Shift (1)

31 August 2017




SUBJECT/S: Scott Morrison’s rant about reds under the bed; Gerard Ridsdale sentencing; citizenship


SAMANTHA MAIDEN: And joining us now live is the Shadow Finance Minister Jim Chalmers in Brisbane. What do you make of that? Are you indeed the "new romantics of protectionism"?


JIM CHALMERS, SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE: (Laughs) Is it any wonder, Sam, that the Australian people don't take Scott Morrison especially seriously anymore? That was just another laughable and pathetic spectacle of the Treasurer of Australia spending all of his time ranting about Bill Shorten and none of his time actually working on growing the economy or fixing the Budget. Every time that Scott Morrison opens his mouth and has a rant about Bill Shorten and has a rant about ideology, more and more Australians will conclude that the bloke's just not up to the job, and that's what we're seeing again today.


MAIDEN: The substantive content of his speech though was also some optimism about where Australia was heading in terms of economic growth. Do you share that optimism?


CHALMERS: If we get the policy settings right in this country with the economy, then we've got some cause for optimism. We've always got challenges in this economy. We're trade exposed, we're subject to international forces, as always. But we do have reason to be confident, but not if we continue down this path of putting all our eggs in one basket as Scott Morrison wants to do with this $65 billion tax cut for multinationals and the big four banks, or cutting weekend pay, or ranting about Bill Shorten. None of these things will grow the economy. We grow the economy from the bottom up in this country by teaching and training our people.


[Interview interrupted]


MAIDEN: We are going to go back now though to Labor frontbencher Jim Chalmers. Jim, we're obviously talking to you about this speech the Treasurer Scott Morrison has delivered today, but do you have any reaction to that sentencing of that absolutely notorious pedophile Gerard Ridsdale this morning in Melbourne?

CHALMERS: When you get a sentence like that handed down, my thoughts don't immediately go to the grub that's been sentenced, my thoughts immediately go to all of the victims and I hope that the victims and their families, the people who love them, find some kind of peace in a sentence like that.


MAIDEN: Yeah, as would we all. Now on to the other issues, because I know you've got to get going today. Obviously, there's this ongoing debate in relation to the citizenship fiasco. Derryn Hinch is now claiming that he may be involved in this. Isn't it now time for the Labor Party to agree to a full national audit of all MPs, including Katy Gallagher who I notice keeps refusing to come and do an interview? Maybe she does have a problem?


CHALMERS: I don't think you could read anything into that, Sam. We're really confident in our processes. I've been through the process myself and I know how arduous it is. I know how comprehensive it is and so that's where I get my confidence that Labor MPs and Senators are OK. As it relates to Derryn Hinch, Derryn can explain his own situation. I think he's done a bit of that on Sky this morning as well. Our real concern is the Cabinet Ministers - Barnaby Joyce, Fiona Nash. They haven't done the right thing like Matt Canavan did. They're sitting in a Cabinet making decisions about people's penalty rates, about tax cuts for the top end of town and tax hikes for everybody else. They're making these sorts of decisions and they can't even tell us whether they're eligible or not. I think it's long past time for Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash to do the right thing; to stand aside from their ministerial duties until we get to the bottom of this issue. 


MAIDEN: All right, Jim Chalmers there in Brisbane. You've been extremely patient today and for that we thank you very much. Thanks again for your time today.


CHALMERS: Thank you.