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Boss-loving Swan a gun for hire: Bishop

Sat August 11, 2012 3:01pm

TREASURER Wayne Swan wants Julia Gillard's job, deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop says.

Speaking at the West Australian Liberal Party's state conference on Saturday, Ms Bishop echoed recent comments by opposition leader Tony Abbott in saying Mr Swan's Bruce Springsteen-inspired speech signalled a new contender may have emerged for the top job.

"I think Wayne Swan is after Julia's job - you hear it here," Ms Bishop said.

"Apparently, he's inspired by Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run.

"Let's hope he doesn't mean the country."

Drawing titters from the audience, she referred to another Springsteen hit, Dancing In The Dark, saying the treasurer's now-famous Boss speech may have been sending a message.

"This gun's for hire, even though we're just dancing in the dark," she said.

"Now that may be a reflection of where Labor finds itself, but I think Julia Gillard should watch out.

"Wayne's putting his hand up - stand in line behind the others."

Ms Bishop also said she expected the federal government's new Minerals Resource Rent Tax would be expanded.

"And they have no idea how much revenue will be raised - no idea - and yet they've spent billions of dollars in anticipation," she said.

"So the result will have to be the tax will either be increased or broadened, and knowing Wayne Swan, he'll do both.

"And all the while they hurl abuse at mining entrepreneurs who create wealth and jobs for thousands of Australians."

Ms Bishop's speech repeatedly questioned the trustworthiness of the Gillard government, pointing to its knifing of Kevin Rudd, but said its most egregious error was "an orgy of wasteful spending" that had taken government gross debt from zero to $230 billion.

"And they have no plans as to how to pay down that debt," she said.

"As Maggie Thatcher so often said 'the trouble with socialists is they eventually run out of other people's money'."

The federal government was being sought for comment.

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