Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Questions without Notice
I'll tell you what won't increase wages, and that is $387 billion of higher taxes, which was Labor's policy going into the last election. In last year's budget, when we made a wages forecast, it actually came in at half a percentage point higher than we had forecast. And, as the Prime Minister has outlined, in the budget year and beyond, we have forecast the wages price index being above inflation. What we know is that the way to drive higher wages is to drive down the unemployment rate.
When Labor came to government the unemployment rate was 4.2 per cent. When Labor left office the unemployment rate was 5.7 per cent. And I can confirm to the House that the unemployment rate today is at its equal lowest in 48 years, at four per cent, and that female unemployment is at its lowest level since 1974. And in the budget last night we printed a number for the unemployment rate to have a 3 in front of it for the first time in 50 years. That belongs to 26 million Australians. Unlike those opposite: when they were presiding over the recessions in the 1980s and the 1990s, the unemployment rate remained elevated for some 10 years. This time around, it's taken just over a year to get the unemployment rate back—