IA's election QUIZ: How well do you know Australia’s treasurers? (No 3)

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(Meme via Sandi Keane | @jarrapin)

Campaign-comatosed already? Test your knowledge with Quizmaster Alan Austin's second pre-election quiz for IA's political tragics. We hope a focus on facts will be a welcome change of diet from the tired old slogans and spin.

1. These seven Australian treasurers all held two ministerial portfolios simultaneously:

Chris Watson, in 1904

Andrew Fisher, from 1910 to 1913

James Scullin, in 1930-31

Joseph Lyons, from 1932 to 35

Robert Menzies, in 1939-40

Arthur Fadden, in 1941

Ben Chifley, from 1945 to 49

What was their other portfolio besides treasury?

(a) Minister for commerce

(b) Attorney general

(c) Finance minister

(d) Prime minister


2. Which Australian treasurer is this?

* served in student politics on the Social Democratic Students Association executive

* was active in Young Labor

* worked as a lawyer defending small companies

* won his seat in Parliament after defeating a long-term sitting Liberal MP * urged in his maiden speech that government “be subservient to the citizen”

(a) Ralph Willis

(b) Peter Costello

(c) Wayne Swan

(d) Chris Bowen


3. The greatest expansion in Australia’s net debt in any six month period since World War II was $45.8 billion. The hapless treasurer then was:

(a) Paul Keating

(b) Peter Costello

(c) Wayne Swan

(d) Joe Hockey

(e) Scott Morrison


4. Only once – since records were first kept – has Australia’s gross debt been reduced by more than seven billion dollars in a three month period of diligent savings. The treasurer then was:

(a) Paul Keating

(b) Peter Costello

(c) Wayne Swan

(d) Joe Hockey

(e) Scott Morrison


5. Since eminent economist Leslie Bury retired in 1971, only four Australian treasurers have had degrees in economics. All from the same party. They are:

(a) Jim Cairns, Bill Hayden, John Dawkins and Chris Bowen, all ALP.

(b) Billy Snedden, John Howard, Peter Costello and Joe Hockey, all Liberal.

(c) Frank Crean, John Kerin, Ralph Willis and Wayne Swan, all ALP.

(d) Harold Holt, William McMahon, Phillip Lynch and Scott Morrison, all Liberal.


6. The current tax avoidance situation repeats an earlier period, when drastic measures were required.
Who was the treasurer some years ago who introduced controversial but effective laws which:

* made using artificial tax avoidance schemes criminal offences

* made it also a criminal offence for accountants to aid avoidance

* specified heavy penalties, including imprisonment

* applied the law retrospectively

(a) Bill Hayden

(b) John Howard

(c) Paul Keating

(d) Peter Costello


7. Australia’s first treasurer Sir George Turner lost the job in 1905 because:

(a) while inebriated at the Postmaster General 60th birthday party at a St Kilda hotel, he inadvertently revealed details of the forthcoming budget.

(b) he was seriously ill after two operations and spent several days unconscious and delirious.

(c) the fourth Commonwealth budget deficit in 1905 blew out by a staggering £278, seven shillings and threepence.

(d) he testified that he was unable to recall secret donations to the Protectionist Party by Sydney property developers.


­8. Which treasurer inherited an inflation rate stuck intractably above 9 per cent and reduced it to below 4.7 per cent where it has stayed ever since?

(a) John Howard

(b) Paul Keating

(c) Peter Costello

(d) No-one. Never happened.


9. Peter Costello is Australia’s longest serving treasurer at 11 years 267 days. Three others served more than eight years. Paul Keating and two others. Who?

(a) Andrew Page and Harold Holt

(b) Ben Chifley and Arthur Fadden

(c) Earl Page and Richard Casey

(d) Joseph Lyons and John Howard


10. The last eight Australian treasurers to serve more than seven months were John Howard, Paul Keating, Ralph Willis, John Dawkins, Peter Costello, Wayne Swan, Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison. Who were the youngest and oldest when they started in the job?

(a) Peter Costello youngest, Scott Morrison oldest

(b) John Howard youngest, Ralph Willis oldest

(c) Paul Keating youngest, Joe Hockey oldest

(d) Peter Costello youngest, Wayne Swan oldest


11. One reason Joe Hockey lost the treasurer job was government debt. He promised to reduce it by 17 per cent ($30 billion) but increased it by 51.7 per cent. In two years. How much extra interest is Australia now paying on the debt incurred by the Coalition? (Just on the new Coalition debt – not on the residue left by Labor.)

(a) $11.7 million per year

(b) $11.7 million per month

(c) $11.7 million per week

(d) $11.7 million per day


12. Only one of these prime ministers was never treasurer. Who?

(a) Stanley Bruce

(b) Joseph Lyons

(c) John Curtin

(d) Arthur Fadden

(e) Ben Chifley

(f) Robert Menzies

(g) Harold Holt

(h) William McMahon

(i) Paul Keating

(j) John Howard

Find the answers here!

[Editor's note: Pictured from the top down: James Scullin, Ralph Willis, Wayne Swan, Peter Costello, John Kerin, Bill Hayden, Sir John Kerr (sorry, trick photo), John Howard, Arthur Fadden, Scott Morrison, Joe Hockey, Harold Holt.]

Disputes with the Quizmaster are welcome and correspondence will enthusiastically be entered into. Feel free to Tweet Alan Austin @AlanTheAmazing.

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