Tuesday, 21 August 2018
The honourable member talked about funding for health and hospitals. We are spending record amounts in every area of health—health, hospitals, Medicare, PBS. When new life-saving drugs are recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, we list them. We don't have to do as Labor did; they postponed their listing because they couldn't afford it. A stronger economy enables you to do all that. We have increased bulk-billing rates. They're now at record levels: 86.1 per cent of all GP services are bulk-billed. Labor wants to repeat the 'Mediscare' lies that they ran at the last election and at every by-election, but the reality is that every public hospital in Australia is receiving more funding under our government than it did under Labor.
In terms of schools, again, the Labor lies are rolled out. We're spending a record $249.8 billion over the next 10 years on schools and we've cleaned up Labor's 27 'special deals' that saw students getting less funding in one state than in another. In terms of national security, Labor neglected our Australian Defence. They did not commission one new naval ship in their whole time in office. We have 53 vessels either under construction or under design, and that is because we are determined to keep Australia safe and we are able to pay for it because of the stronger economy that delivers stronger government revenues, and enables us, in addition to doing all that, to bring the budget back into balance a year early.
The alternative that Labor offers us is an abandonment of every principle and value the Labor Party used to stand for. The Labor Party used to stand for aspiration. Not anymore. It's a mystery. They used to stand for people getting ahead and having a go. Not anymore. We have the politics of envy being rolled out in every electorate around the country. Labor is going after small businesses, family owned businesses. It's going after businesses—no matter how small they are, it wants them to pay more tax. It's going after individual taxpayers. It's going after retirees. I heard the Leader of the Opposition talk about self-funded retirees. Well, the Leader of the Opposition is going after their savings. Anyone with a portfolio with Australian shares in it—that type of investor or self-funded retiree—the Labor Party wants to take away 30 per cent of their income. It is a cash grab that will leave all of those families short. That's the Labor approach: going after families, going after self-funded retirees and going after businesses. And their energy policies can have only one result, which is higher and higher energy prices.
We are taking action to defend Australian families, get taxes down, electricity prices down, jobs up and investment up—the energetic economic growth that we need which results in higher wages, as we're starting to see. That's our commitment. We're standing up for Australian families, and for the Australian workers that the Leader of the Opposition abandoned in his union career and now abandons in this chamber.