CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER: Well thanks for coming everybody. I’ll deal with a couple of issue. We’ve seen today a downgrading of the IMF prediction for the global economy. The Labor Party has been talking about this for some time.
Last year I pointed out that there was considerable downside risk in the world economy and that we need to be preparing Australia for the potential slowing of growth around the world.  Josh Frydenberg at that time said I was wrong, and that it talking down the economy to make such an observation. Today the IMF has made a similar observation. The Prime Minister has also said there are global headwinds as Bill Shorten and I and the Labor Party have been saying now for months that this was the case.
Now we had a speech from the Treasurer today, it was an opportunity for the Treasurer to outline his plans. His plans to deal with low wages growth in Australia, his plans to deal with low productivity growth, his plans to deal with high household debt. Instead, what we got was the Treasurer’s continual obsession with being in effect the Shadow Treasurer to the Labor Party. Running a scare campaign about Labor’s policies. Well let me make it very clear; I very much welcome a debate about economics, tax and our competing plans because the Labor Party has plans, the Liberal Party has none.
We are now on our third treasurer, our sixth year of the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government with no clear economic plan, no clear economic narrative. But if the Treasurer is going to come to the economic debate he might want to come occasionally with a policy, with a plan, with an idea not his continual grabs and slogans about the Labor Party. So I very much welcome the Treasurer entering the economic debate but I invite him to come with some policies and we can debate our respective policies. Instead he is only focused on debating the Labor Party’s policies. I’m more than happy to do that but I’d like to debate some Government policies if they could come up with some.
Final point I will just raise before taking your questions. The news that the Prime Minister is parachuting Warren Mundine into the seat of Gilmore over the wishes of the Liberal Party branch members in the electorate of Gilmore. Well just a bit more than a week ago I launched the Labor campaign office in Gilmore, in Nowra, opened Fiona Phillip’s campaign office. Just as we have had stable leadership and a unified team federally so we have been unified behind Fiona Phillips, the Labor candidate for Gilmore who has been out campaigning consistently for months, doing a great job, fantastic campaign.
First we had the Liberal sitting member say that she was withdrawing because of bullying within the Liberal party, then the preselection of Grant Shultz. Now that preselection being overturned at the wish of the Prime Minister to parachute Warren Mundine in. I mean what a farce. The people of Gilmore deserve better than that. To boot the Prime Minister has put in a candidate for Gilmore who thinks it is a good idea to have nuclear reactors on the coast including in his own electorate. Well I think the people of Gilmore might have something to say about that, election day.
Happy to take questions on any item.
JOURNALIST: Mr Bowen The Australian has reported there is unrest in your party regarding franking credits changes. Have any members expressed their concerns about this?
BOWEN: No and with respect The Australian hasn’t reported that. It is an opinion piece in The Australian by a commentator. He is entitled to do that but with due respect to him Mr. Gottliebsen has run a long-standing campaign against the Labor Party’s franking credits. This is about the 17th article he has written complaining about the Labor Party’s franking credits policy. I don’t think he likes it. I have responded previously and pointed out the errors in his analysis. He has previously claimed the costings were wrong, that the Liberal Party had evidence that the costings were wrong. That’s turned out to be incorrect, the Treasury costings are quite similar to the Parliamentary Budget Office costings over the forward estimates.
So Mr Gottliebsen is entitled to make any number of claims but with respect he is not a journalist, he is a commentator. He is not reporting, he is writing opinion pieces and that claim is incorrect. The Labor Party has been 100 per cent united behind our entire economic agenda and will continue to be so.
All good?
Thanks very much.