Joe Hockey
Joe Hockey

Hockey blasts opponents of increase to $500b debt level

TREASURER Joe Hockey has hit out at the Opposition and The Greens, describing their resistance to increasing Australia's debt limit to $500 billion as "reckless".

A statement from Mr Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Corrman said the two parties were "preparing to do what no other Australian parliament has done", in refusing the increase to the debt limit.

Both parties have refused to raise the debt ceiling to $500 billion, while the Labor Party has offered a compromise, to increase the limit to $400 billion from its current $300 billion level.

Opposition Treasurer Chris Bowen has previously said Labor would not support the government's proposed limit, in the absence of the release of more information about the government's budget position.

But Mr Hockey's statement said the $400 billion was flawed "given their own published peak debt of $370 billion".

"The $40 billion to $60 billion buffer previously identified means $430 billion as a minimum would have been required based on the 2013 Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook," the statement reads.

The government has previously promised to release the mid-year budget update before Christmas, despite complaints from Labor the statement was usually released in October.



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