Thursday, 29 November 2018
Under our government's policies, unemployment has fallen to five per cent. Under our government's policies we have had the strongest growth in the median wage in the last 13 years. We have had the strongest growth in non-mining investment—the continuous growth record in 30 years—under our government. We have the lowest level of welfare dependency of working age Australians in 25 years and more. Under our government, and under the policies and the convictions and the principles of the Liberal and the National parties, more Australians are getting into work and fewer Australian are going onto welfare. That is the product of a government that understands and believes that the best form of welfare is a job. It is the product of a government that believes, absolutely, that if you have a go, you will get a go.
They are the policies which say that you should keep more of what you earn, because you have worked incredibly hard for it. That is the policy of this government. That is why, as a government, from the day we were elected we have been setting about the plan that has been making Australia stronger, that has been making Australia safer and that has been bringing Australians together. Our plan, which we have been implementing, is tax relief to encourage and reward hardworking Australians. It's $144 billion worth of tax relief, which means that more than 90 per cent of Australians will not pay a marginal rate of 32½c or more than that. 32½c and less is what the majority of Australians will face under the legislated tax plans of our government, that means Australians going to work today on a middle income over the next 10 years will not see bracket creep, the vast majority of them, for their entire working lives.
When you believe that Australians should keep more of what they earn you believe in reducing taxes for all Australians. You don't hold the view that to give tax relief for some you've got to come and pull others down. That is the dangerous politics of envy that can only come from a Labor Party that is intent on driving division throughout this country, division in our workplaces and division between parents as they stand on the sidelines watching their children play sport. They want to set parents who send their children to state schools against parents who send their children to non-state schools. The Labor Party has a plan to divide this country.
The Labor Party has a plan to undermine the very principles of a fair go that have made this country the strong, united, vibrant country that it is today. Australians, I believe, will get the opportunities to see that between now and the next election. They will know absolutely when they go to the next election that the leader of the Labor Party and the Labor Party itself want to disrupt the living standards of Australians by imposing their ideological and reckless agenda on the Australian people. But not this side of the House—not the Liberal Party and not the National Party. We are providing tax relief to Australians and we're providing tax relief to hardworking small and family businesses.
It is our government that has brought forward and implemented the tax cuts for small and family businesses, bringing it down to 25 per cent. It's our government that introduced the instant asset write-off to ensure that small businesses ploughing back into their businesses, and working hard in their business, could keep more of what they earn and could invest in the equipment that makes a difference. It is our government that raised the definition of a small business from $2 million to $10 million, liberating thousands and thousands of businesses to ensure that those small businesses can get the cash flow benefits of pooled depreciation and doing GST on a cash basis.
This is real policy I'm talking about here. I don't know what the Labor Party's talking about, but I know on this side of the House when we come here we talk about real policies—policies that make a difference, that are being legislated and are being implemented, to ensure that we can enrich the small and family business culture of this country.
The Labor Party doesn't understand small business because there aren't many union employees in small business. It is one big blank vacant space when it comes to the Labor Party. They disrespect their contribution to Australia and they disregard the interests that are so important to them. It's our government that has ensured that more than 90 per cent of times, bills of a billion dollars and less are being paid within 30 days by the Commonwealth government, and on 1 July next year that's coming down to 20 days. More than that, at the end of this year I'll be asking all the states and territories not only to match our commitment to 20 days but to match New South Wales government's commitment to 20 days, because if you're a small business you shouldn't be used as a bank by large businesses and you shouldn't be used as a bank by a government, state or federal. We're taking action on that and we're calling on all large businesses, through a transparency initiative, to ensure that the payment business of large businesses is on record so small businesses know who they can do business with.
Next year, on 2 April, our government will deliver the first surplus budget in 12 years. That's what our government is going to be doing because we've got expenditure under control with the lowest spending growth of any government in 50 years and more and we've got taxes under control. That budget is coming back into balance because of the work we have done to manage that budget carefully and to grow our economy by doing things like investing in infrastructure and in liberating and supporting our science and technology sectors so they can grow and they can flourish with the investments we're making. We're ensuring that we're recognising our traditional sectors in agriculture and resources, in mining—mining and resources are dirty words to the Labor Party. They're dirty words to those in the Labor Party, but we know that those who make steel out of the resources that are mined in this country have real jobs that deserve protecting and deserve recognition. The Labor Party has sold out the resources, mining, steel production and aluminium smelting industries of this country and they have done that by embracing reckless policies that will continue to drive up electricity prices under the reckless policies of the Labor government.
We're guaranteeing the funding for schools, for hospitals, for affordable medicines, for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, for the pension and for the disability support pension because the only way you can look the Australian people in the eye and tell them that you can guarantee the support that we're guaranteeing them is when you can back it up with the fiscal management and the economic policies that deliver in season and deliver out of season. That's why we can back our farmers in the middle of the drought. That's what we've been focusing on. We've been focusing on those sectors that support living standards and support Australians on a daily basis.
So we are delivering across all of these areas. We're focused on policy. We're focused on a strong economy. We're focused on keeping Australians safe, not following on national security but leading on national security, ensuring that we're delivering the laws and the powers and we're kicking out the druggies who are selling drugs to our kids. We're kicking out the bikies who roll up at the CFMEU conferences at will and run the numbers for Labor Party members all across the country. No wonder they weren't cancelling visas for bikies and criminals. We've cancelled 3,000 visas for bikies, criminals and suspected terrorists in this country because we take these things seriously.
The member for Watson posed the question: what was put to the people back in 2013? I'll tell you what was put to the people. The member for Warringah will remember it very, very well. What we put to the people in 2013 was that we would stop the boats, and we stopped the boats. We said that we would get rid of the carbon tax, and we got rid of the carbon tax, and the Labor Party now wants to bring back a carbon tax. We said we would bring the budget back into a surplus, and on 2 April next year the Australian people will see that we will deliver that surplus budget, which demonstrates that only the Liberal and National parties can be trusted to run a strong economy that guarantees the essential services that Australians rely on without the higher taxes of the Labor Party.