Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Greenway for that very important question. Everyone on this side of the House has a plan for the future, unlike the rabble opposite who can only come in here and throw smear around as a substitute for putting forward considered policies for the future. We on this side of the House understand how important it is to make investments for the future. Our economy is a beacon of resilience compared to other developed economies around the world, and that has been because past governments, mainly from our side of politics, made the investments for the future and understood the importance of creating jobs now and well into the future.
One of the reasons our economy is a beacon of resilience is the decisive action that we on this side of the parliament took at the height of the global financial crisis. A consequence of that has been that we did not go into recession and we did not experience the capital destruction and the skill destruction that has occurred across other developed economies. The consequence of that, as the Prime Minister said before, is our economy is 11 per cent larger than it was at the end of 2007. We are now the 12th largest economy in the world.
But we know that, if we are to be assured of the future, we have got to keep making the investments for the future. Part of that is good fiscal policy, and because we have put in place good fiscal and budget policy the Reserve Bank has had the scope to adjust interest rates down—the equivalent of six interest rate cuts since November last year. What that means for a lot of people out there who are doing it tough with the cost of living is that, if you have a $300,000 mortgage, you are paying $4,500 a year less than you were paying when the Liberals were last in power. And nobody forgets what happened with interest rates when they were in office: they went up 10 times in a row, despite their claims that they would keep them at record lows.
So we understand the importance of good fiscal policy, we understand the importance of policies which assist families with the cost of living and we also understand the importance of investing for the future so we can lift productivity and make sure that we are creating jobs well into the future, which is why the government is so focused on investments, not just in the NBN but, most particularly, in education, because we know that is the key to growth in the Asian century. Just compare all of that—compare our plans for the future—with what those opposite are saying at the moment. They are simply stuck in the mud bucket of the past. They do not have a single costed policy that they could put forward in this parliament. Why is that? Because essentially they are led by a policy lightweight. The Leader of the Opposition has not got a clue when it comes to economic policy. He is all venom and no vision. (Time expired)
Madam Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. The Treasurer has talked about the benefits of lower interest rates for families right around Australia. Can he outline what this has meant for families in my electorate?
I thank the member for Greenway for that supplementary question. I was talking before about the equivalent of six interest rate cuts since November last year. As a result, a working family in Greenway with a $300,000 mortgage has made around $2,700 in annual savings from rate cuts in the last 12 months alone. As I said before, a family with a $300,000 mortgage is now saving something like $4,500 a year in repayments compared to when the Liberals were last in office. This is very important, because it comes along with the commitment to assist families with the cost of living and, most particularly for families in Greenway, the Schoolkids Bonus, which of course is opposed by those opposite. We understand the stresses and strains on modern working families, particularly in Greenway—unlike the knuckleheads over there, who will not even support the Schoolkids Bonus.
Opposition members interjecting—