Simon Birmingham: The Government is announcing a $60 million boost to the export market development grants. This is an investment in helping Australian exporters to succeed on the world stage. This is building upon incredible success we've already had in growing exports from Australia. Last year Australia recorded its largest trade surplus ever, our best performance for our exporters. We've seen the number of exporting businesses grow by 16 per cent since we have been in office and what we've done to deliver that is open up access for Australian business, by delivering trade deal after trade deal, and we are backing them in with these grants to help them invest in growing their export markets around the world. And this is about driving the economic strength of Australia, more exports, more businesses exporting, more access to markets, more investment in exports, means more jobs for Australians, greater prosperity for Australians. That's been the lived experience for the last five to six years, and we're investing to make sure that under a Liberal-National Government, investment and growing exports continues, because that's what will grow our national prosperity.

Journalist: Simon can you tell us more about this economic modelling (indistinct)?

Simon Birmingham: Well we've seen economic modelling that's been supported by various industry groups. We absolutely have the economic modelling, we've been referencing in terms of are estimates to be (indistinct) and we can see the modelling that goes market by market, in terms of the potential loss of house values in markets such as Sydney or Melbourne, or that there's an increase in rental prices in other markets such as Perth or Brisbane. And we really want to make sure that Australians understand that. I refer you indeed to modelling that the Treasurer has publicly identified previously, and we'll continue to make sure that Australians understand the choices at the next election. Higher taxes under Bill Shorten, lower house prices, higher rentals.

Journalist: But isn't it the case that the government (indistinct) falling house prices and yet its criticising Labor's policies (indistinct) risking a reduction in house prices?

Simon Birmingham: Well you've got to be careful about these things, we have worked closely with the Reserve Bank in terms of financial settings to make sure that we do all we can to guarantee lending practices are responsible, and that investment in the housing market is responsible. But this policy of the Labor Party, coming on top of those measures that have already been demonstrated to be working and are already cooling the housing market, will take that from a cooling of the housing market, to a potential real loss of value in the housing market for mum and dad Australians.

Journalist: Can we expect any measures (indistinct) housing market in the budget?

Simon Birmingham: As a government, we've already put in place measures in terms of support for people to use superannuation (indistinct) for their home deposit, as well as the types of measures that have guaranteed more responsible lending practices and better sustainability in terms of the housing market. But we continue to work closely on all of those things. The most important thing though that we can do for Australian homeowners or those who seek to purchase a house, is to maintain a strong economy, and you won't have a strong economy if there are $200 billion plus of new taxes being levied on us under a new Labor government.

Journalist: Will the budget be in surplus?

Simon Birmingham: The budget will be in surplus and this is a phenomenal achievement of our government, to be able to bring the budget back to surplus for the first time since the Howard years. We have done so by containing spending growth and growing the economy simultaneously. This has been about careful economic management, economic management that has created one point three million new job opportunities for Australians, brought the budget back to surplus, delivered tax cuts for households and small businesses, and all of those things are at risk if we have a Labor government levying new taxes, reckless spending, and jeopardising jobs growth in the future.


This transcript has been redacted in accordance with Digital Transformation Agency guidelines.

For a full transcript please visit www.senatorbirmingham.com.au/news/interview-transcripts/

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