House debates

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Questions without Notice


2:32 pm

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

I don't know why the member for Rankin seeks to disagree with the Governor of the Reserve Bank. I don't know why the member for Rankin never lets facts get in the way of a good headline. I don't know why the member for Rankin ignores the most recent numbers in today's national accounts, such as the fact that we have seen unemployment come down at the end of last year, in December, to 5.1 per cent. We saw it go down. We saw retail sales volumes have their biggest jump in two years. We saw, in the September quarter, household disposable income have its biggest increase in a decade, on the back of our tax cuts—and, if you combine it with the December quarter, you see that household disposable income had its biggest increase in 5½ years. We've seen the housing market stabilise. We've seen prices rise, but we've also seen clearance rates increase. And the Reserve Bank, through monetary policy and the initiatives that we have undertaken on the fiscal side, have also contributed to a stronger housing market. The reality is we have legislated through this parliament, against the will of those opposite, more than $300 billion of tax cuts. We have seen, on our watch, more than 1½ million new jobs being created. We have seen the first balanced budget in 11 years. We have seen the lowest welfare dependency in 30 years.

When we came to government, trade agreements covered 26 per cent of our two-way trading relationships. They now cover more than 70 per cent of our trading arrangements. And the relationship that we have struck and solidified with Indonesia through the free trade agreement with them will help create more jobs, just like the agreements that we struck with China, Korea, Japan and the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The reality is that we have delivered a stronger economy. We have delivered more jobs, we have delivered lower taxes, and Australia is in its 29th consecutive year of economic growth. We're one of only 10 developed economies in the world to have a AAA credit rating from the three leading credit-rating agencies. That is why the Australian people backed us at the last election—because they can trust us with the economy. The member for Rankin talked about the top end of town and ran around with the member for McMahon promising higher taxes. Only the coalition can deliver a stronger economy with lower taxes and more jobs.


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