Thursday, 30 October 2014
Questions without Notice
My question is to Minister for Small Business. Will the minister inform the House of the savings that have been passed on to families and businesses in Victoria and elsewhere since the government scrapped the world's biggest carbon tax?
I thank the member for Deakin. He is so in tune with his electorate. That was a really insightful question about things that matter in Deakin. Scrapping the carbon tax was an important part of the government's economic action strategy and we are already starting to see the benefits filtering through. In the first nine months of the Abbott government, we have seen three times the rate of job creation than we saw under the previous Labor government for the first nine months of last year. This is great news for Victoria, great news for Victorians.
Alongside the excellent work of the Napthine government, this has meant 30,900 more jobs in Victoria—nearly 31,000 more jobs. I would have thought that was good news for the members in this place who are interested in the wellbeing and livelihoods of those in Victoria. It is a record that Labor could never have dreamed of achieving—and they certainly never went near doing anything of this quality and this value for job creation and economic revitalisation in Victoria.
A key part of this economic action strategy has been to repeal the carbon tax. We know the carbon tax has hurt and harmed households and small businesses, particularly in Victoria. Yesterday, the ACCC released its third carbon tax repeal monitoring report, which showed that benefits that have been estimated are now materialising and are being passed through to energy consumers in particular. The report revealed the clear benefits of the repeal of the carbon tax and backed up our estimates of saving the average Australian household $550. That is real money in the hands of Australian households, and that is benefiting the businesses that want to work hard to win the opportunity to service those households.
I am talking about people like Tony from Mt Evelyn Super IGA—another Tony—who the member for Casey introduced me to. He has explained that, in his business alone, the savings are about $26,000 a year—that is, his electricity costs, his gas costs and the savings on having to re-gas his refrigeration system. He is delighted about the savings and he is delighted that his customers are also seeing improved household expenditure opportunities.
The Blue Bay Cheese Company, a small family business, have saved more than 12 per cent on their peak electricity costs and have experienced a 21 per cent saving on their off-peak electricity charges. The Bays Hospital in Mornington have saved $3,000 a month off their electricity bills.
We promised that we would repeal the carbon tax, and we did. We promised that we would ensure that those savings are passed through to households and small businesses—and we are.
My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister's budget will see a family earning $65,000 lose $6,000 of its household budget. At the same time, the Prime Minister has given multinational corporations a tax break and has refused to close tax loopholes, and now the Prime Minister has done a deal to pay $2.5 billion to Australia's biggest polluters. Why is the Prime Minister taking money from Australian families and handing it to Australia's biggest polluters?
An opposition member: That's a new book!
Opposition members interjecting—
I have just opened the book randomly at this page to look at a $60,000 family. This particular family is getting $15,000 worth of government benefits under our budget. I could refer to any number of different households—
Ms O'Neil interjecting—
earning $60,000 and all of them are receiving very large amounts of money under our social security system under this government's budget. A single income couple on $60,000 with one dependent under six gets $7,000 from the taxpayer. A single income couple with two dependents gets $8,300 from the taxpayer. A single income couple on $60,000—
A single income couple on $60,000 with three dependents gets $17,900 from the taxpayer. It just goes on and on. People who are earning $60,000 are, as they should be, very significant beneficiaries from our social security system.
But I will tell you what this budget does for people. It saves them from Labor's debt and deficit disaster—and that means that the social security benefits that they receive are sustainable. They are sustainable under us, in a way they never would have been under Labor. That is the problem with members opposite: they were engaging in intergenerational theft. They were stealing from tomorrow's families to pay for their own unsustainable spending and to pay for their own electoral bribes. We will never do that, because that is to betray the Australian people. It will be sustainable under this government. That is what people elected us to do and that is what we are delivering.