House debates

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Matters of Public Importance


3:34 pm

Photo of Alex HawkeAlex Hawke (Mitchell, Liberal Party, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

to get the budget back into balance? Who's going to do that?

Well, I look forward to seeing it. I believe that people are going to look very carefully at this analysis—that we shouldn't have spent money. The Labor Party simultaneously says we shouldn't have spent money, we shouldn't have gone into debt—even though every business, family and household was shut by the government during a pandemic—and then of course we should have kept the supports going after we'd said we were going to remove them when the economic recovery was on. And somehow that would have led to less debt and deficit and the economy would have been sustained! It is pulp fiction, this narrative from the opposition.

When they stand here and say that their main criticism is that people weren't sitting up straight, or something, in the House, you know they've got nothing. This budget is temporary, targeted at the right people—families, households, small businesses, people who earn a living, the regions, people who drive the economic recovery out there. We're going to continue to support those people through every one of our measures through a budget from the Liberal and National parties that recognises the skill shortages—driving investment in skills, and people moving to our regions and taking those jobs and also being able to start their businesses and having them accelerated through our regional accelerators.

We're seeing a record rate of apprentice take-up in Australia. That means that now, under this budget, there will be a new $2.8 billion investment to increase the take-up and completion rate of the record rate of apprentices. These are the things I hear when I speak to businesses in Australia, when I hear from the regions—mayors, people I've visited around Australia. They're talking about skills. They're talking about support for business growth. They're talking about getting people into the regions, and that's what this budget will do.

When you ask any Australian community who they would trust to run the economy, well, we put forward our track record of understanding that it is the economy that drives growth, the economy that drives jobs and that relies on small, family, medium businesses. It's the Morrison government that will continue to support those businesses, to drive that growth, to drive that job creation and to get that record level of unemployment that we're going to see get to three per cent. It will be historic, and a re-elected coalition government will deliver that record unemployment result.


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