Coalition government may introduce economic stimulus: Hockey



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In his address to CEDA’s State of the Nation 2013 conference, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey did not rule out introducing economic stimulus packages during a downturn if the Coalition win government in September.

In his address to CEDA's State of the Nation 2013 conference, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey did not rule out introducing economic stimulus packages during a downturn if the Coalition win government in September.

Mr Hockey said a Coalition government would only introduce stimulus measures if the key economic cyclical fail safes such as a low Australian dollar and interest rates did not protect the economy.

"I would not be doing my job if I had not already given some thought as to how economic activity could be safeguarded should the downturn in the private sector become more protracted," he said.

"In that case additional well considered government action could be appropriate."

But Mr Hockey did promise a Coalition government would not overspend on unnecessary infrastructure and bonus payments.

"You won't be seeing the Coalition sending $900 cheques to dead people. We will not be spending billions of dollars installing pink batts and then millions more removing them. And we will not be spending billions of taxpayer dollars on overpriced school halls that school's don't want and which do nothing to raise the standard of education," he said.

Mr Hockey said Australia is experiencing a downturn and slowdown in mining investment which now comprises approximately 60 per cent of business in the country.

To help sustain economic growth in mining and non-mining sectors, a Coalition Government will reduce regulation and taxes, he said.

"Our solutions are driven by a fundamental belief that prosperity does not come from government, it comes from business …. Investing for the future, driving productivity, creating wealth and jobs," he said.

Mr Hockey also reiterated the Coalition's promise to cut personal income tax and abolish the carbon and mining taxes.

The Coalition will also work on developing closer relations in Asia in non-mining sectors including education and health, Mr Hockey said.

"We will also be focussing on Free Trade Agreements with India, Indonesia, the European Union, and the Gulf countries," he said.

Read more articles from the 2013 State of the Nation