Tuesday, 21 August 2018
By 2024 we will see 94 per cent of Australians paying no more than 32½ cents on any extra dollar they earn. We also have succeeded, and this is a vital priority, in being able to bring down youth unemployment to its lowest level since April 2012. More than 57,000 young Australians found a job in the 12 months to July this year. That is, again, a reminder of what a strong economy does. You get more economic growth, more investment and more jobs. And the female participation rate is at record levels.
We hear from the Leader of the Opposition his complaints about economic management. Stronger economic growth than any of the G7 economies, record jobs growth, the lowest unemployment rate since 2012, the lowest youth unemployment rate since 2012 and the highest female participation rate—that is what you get from a strong economy, and that is what we're delivering. We have delivered lower taxes for small and medium Australian businesses. These are overwhelmingly family-owned businesses, and these are businesses turning over less than $50 million a year, which employ over half the private sector workforce. These are not big companies. These are not giant multinationals. But they're employing millions of Australians and they are employing more of them because of our reforms.
The honourable member refers to energy. Let's be quite clear about this. The Labor Party's policies on energy are a repeat of policies that have failed. They want to have a 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target when we know the Renewable Energy Target was a mistake. It is widely recognised as such, called out by the ACCC. What it did was displace dispatchable power and resulted in huge amounts of renewable power, regardless of what it did to the reliability of the system. And the member for Port Adelaide knows all about that because he comes from South Australia, where energy is at its most expensive and its least reliable.
What we're committed to doing is delivering cheaper power. Prices fell in the June quarter 1.3 per cent, not a huge fall but they're coming down. And we've seen lower prices quoted by retailers for the current quarter. The new default market offer that we are going to establish, based on the recommendation from the ACCC inquiry which we initiated, will result in substantial savings for consumers and for businesses—for consumers, up to $416 a year and for small businesses, $1,457 a year.
Ms Butler interjecting—