Monday, 2 May 2016
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on the government's economic plan to deliver jobs and growth? How will the government's plan encourage Australians to work, save and invest?
I thank the honourable member for his question. My government's economic plan is to ensure that Australia continues to make a successful transition from an economy that has been fired up by an unprecedented mining and construction boom to one that is more diverse and takes advantage of the great opportunities of the 21st century economy. Every lever of our policy is directed at making our economy more innovative, more competitive and more productive so that we can deliver the great jobs and great opportunities for Australians, their children and their grandchildren.
This will be the focus of the budget to be presented by the Treasurer tomorrow night. It will detail our plan to drive investment and enterprise and encourage jobs and growth. It will outline changes to the tax system to make it more sustainable, fairer and set us up the 21st century for those great economic opportunities that await us if we have the vision and the enterprise to take them. It will set out our plan to return the budget to balance by living without our means, making sure that any new expenditure is offset with savings elsewhere in the budget so that we can reduce the burden of debt that the Labor Party left us with.
This budget will be responsible, fairer and prudent. It will back Australian families and businesses to work, save and invest. In the year 2015, our economy grew at three per cent in real terms—stronger than any of the G7 nations. As the NABhas reported today, the NAB business survey continues to point to a very favourable business environment for Australian firms. Service industries have persistently been the best performers, although other sectors are looking relatively upbeat. The number of Australians in work increased by around 300,000 in the last calendar year, which is the highest jobs growth since 2007. The labour force data for March showed that that strong growth continues: there were 260,000 new jobs for that month.
Our economic plan maximises the opportunity for new growth and new jobs. Our Defence industry plan directs every dollar we can to supporting innovative, high-tech and advanced manufacturing. Our free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea and the TPP are providing our businesses with unprecedented market access. Our National Innovation and Science Agenda unleashes the creativity, innovation, jobs and industries of the 21st century to ensure that we benefit from those opportunities that await us.