Tuesday, 8 May 2018
It's actually good. We don't want them back in those welfare queues, Member for Jagajaga; we want them off welfare. We want to get more people out of the welfare queues, and under this government's policies what we're seeing is 1,100 a day, the strongest jobs growth on record. Australian small, medium and family businesses are more competitive and we have plans to make our economy even more competitive.
You are going to see a responsible budget tonight from the Treasurer and you are going to see, of course, a responsible and credible path to surplus. We've been able to retain our AAA credit rating. We have done that. The shadow Treasurer says we should do it. Well, we have done it. It is this government that has retained the AAA credit rating, under great strain, I might add, from the fiscal irresponsibility of the Labor years—under great strain from the record of the member for Rankin and the member for Lilley, who are here. The surpluses they never imagined were ghost surpluses, Member for Lilley. You might have been the world's best Treasurer, according to an international body, but you never delivered a surplus. Thirty years without delivering a surplus and you had no role in creating the debt and deficit that Australia has today? Let's just remember who the wreckers are in this economy—who it is that always does damage to the economy when they come to government and who it is that racks up the debt for Australians to pay off. It is always the Australian Labor Party, and it is left to the coalition to fix these things. We get about and do it in a way that makes sure we are still able to deliver the essential services that our economy relies on.
While we are charting a path back to surplus, we are also seeing record spending on education and on health. We are able to make sure the dividend of a strong economy means that this year the Commonwealth will spend more on education than ever before and more on health than ever before. We retained our AAA credit rating. We continue to look at every opportunity to cut the tax burden on Australians, whether they are individuals or the companies that generate all the jobs we are talking about. These aren't public sector jobs. The Labor Party has a plan for only two things: increased taxes and increased expenditure. That is the result, the inevitable consequence, that the member for McMahon can't escape. He can't escape the fact that $200 billion more in taxes means increased spending by the Commonwealth, as well—so, for the member for McMahon to start this parliamentary day by getting up, with the member for Rankin, to lecture us on debt and deficit and economic credibility!
He says he welcomes an election on it. We welcome an election on it, member for McMahon. We welcome a daily conversation on the economy, on how to generate jobs in this country, on how to reform the tax system, on how to reduce the tax burden on hardworking people and on how to reduce the tax burden on the generators of jobs in our economy, they being the small and medium businesses. We welcome an election and a fight on it every single day of the week.
It is a truism of budgets that if you don't have a limit, if you don't set yourself a limit on what you're prepared to tax in the economy, then you will have endless taxes and endless spending—if you're prepared to endlessly tax. The one thing we again didn't hear from the member for McMahon today, which is an indictment on his approach, is that he did not outline what he will do to limit his tax increases and limit his expenditure. I say it again: we have come to a point in Australia where the Australian Labor Party has abandoned any economic credibility. They are proposing $200 billion of new taxes and endless expenditure and they have the hide to stand here in the House today and say that they are concerned about debt and deficit in this country and how to track back to surplus. The way you won't do it is by spending more and taxing more. It is this government that will spend less and tax less.