Chris Bowen Says Labor Will Not Help Joe Hockey Raise The Debt Ceiling To $500 Billion

Joe HockeyGetty / Graham Denholm

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has said Labor will not support raising the debt ceiling to $500 billion.

According to the AFR Hockey explained to Labor MPs he wanted to get the debt ceiling increase through both houses by the end of this week.

On December 2 — when the Upper House next sits — Australia will reportedly be close to its $300 billion limit.

But Bowen, according to the article, said Hockey had not made a case for the $500 billion figure, and Labor would only back an increase to $400 billion.

Increasing the limit would allow the government to increase spending, stimulating the economy if necessary.

This means Hockey would have to negotiate with The Greens to pass the measure — which is listed as the second item for debate on Wednesday. That party has not made clear where it stands on the issue.

The first item listed are the bills to repeal the carbon tax — which should give some idea of how important the treasurer thinks increasing the limit is.

Bowen said he would wait until the mid-year budget update, which is expected in mid-December before deciding whether to back the $500 billon number Hockey is after.

There’s more here.

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