House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Matters of Public Importance

Economy

4:05 pm

Photo of Tim WilsonTim Wilson (Goldstein, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I have to say: that is just complete rubbish. Rather than interjecting, if the opposition want to sit there and listen to the answer, it's actually extremely straightforward. Step 1 in the plan is stop you getting elected, and we achieved that very successfully at the last election! That's kind of important, because when you come to the Australian people and say, 'The solution to Australia's economy is to chuck higher taxes—in fact, $387 billion more in taxes—on the Australian people to drive productivity and growth,' it's wonderful that they now come in here and continue to defend, as many people do, that platform as something they should take to the public again. Step 1, stop Labor getting elected: success. Step 2, stop their higher taxes: we did so by achieving step 1, something we should be very proud of.

Then we get to our platform of what we should do. Step 3 is cut taxes. We made sure we passed legislation through this parliament—against Labor's will, against their opposition, against their fighting, against their behaviour, against their tactics and against every single thing they tried to do procedurally—that cut income taxes for low- and middle-income earners. Because we actually have the capacity to do so because we are running the budget pretty well, we have also put in place and legislated tax cuts into the future, so that people can plan and can put themselves in a position where they have the best chance to pay their fair share of tax. These tax cuts are encouraging people to work and grow the economy. Step 4 is $100 billion of record investment in infrastructure. In fact, the record of investment now is so great that the Governor of the Reserve Bank talks about capacity constraints and some of the challenges we have in being able to roll out more! This is not us in isolation; we have to acknowledge that some of it happens with the assistance of the states.

What are the consequences of this four-step plan, this very clear plan about building the economy of the 21st century for Australia? We'll start a new list: (1) 28 years of uninterrupted growth; (2) we have maintained our AAA credit rating; (3) we're delivering a budget surplus for the first time in many years, and it's certainly a long time since Labor has achieved the same! Then let's go to the subpoints of (1), (2) and (3); let's get down to subpoint (a) of (3). This is how detailed the plan is! Let's go and ask Australian workers what they think. Of course, what we know is there's actually a record number of Australians in work. In fact, we created 1.4 million jobs since about 2013. That's point (a).

Let's go to point 3(b): what's the impact on women and those people who have traditionally experienced the problem of the gender pay gap? It's narrowing. That's a pretty good one. How about point 3(c): let's go and ask the unemployed Australians about what they think of the plan? What has happened to unemployed people is that there has been a reduction in the number of people who are dependent on welfare, as well as having record employment. What about subsection 3(d)? Let's ask our exporters. These are the greatest terms of trade and trade surplus on record, at $8.3 billion. With subsection 3(e), let's go and ask small business. They're getting record investment as a consequence of the tax cuts and the instant asset write-off.

So what exactly is the problem? Is it a failure of comprehension of our plan? Admittedly, now I've gone through so many steps in its comprehensive detail that it might be hard for those on the other side to understand.

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