House debates

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Questions without Notice


2:46 pm

Photo of Steve IronsSteve Irons (Swan, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is for the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the budget has ensured that the government is living within its means and can the Treasurer explain how this compares with other approaches?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Swan for his question. He is someone who runs a business, understands business, has employed Australians and has made sure that he can support Australians through providing them with jobs and giving them good wages, and I commend him for his contribution. The government's national economic plan was set out in the budget of 2016, and a key component of that budget was that government must live within its means. That means paying for your promises and being responsible about how you manage finances to ensure that when you make commitments you can fund them and you can deliver them, rather than increasing the tax burden on Australians and reaching further into their pockets, which was the practice of the Labor Party.

What we have been doing is what we said we would do when we outlined our plan to live within our means as a government. Growth in spending has fallen from over 3½ per cent, which it was under the Labor Party, to less than two per cent under the coalition in the budgets that we have delivered. The rate of growth in debt has fallen by two-thirds from the almost 34 per cent annual growth in debt which was occurring under the Labor Party when they were managing the nation's finances. Since we handed down the budget and since we won the election that followed that budget we have ensured the delivery of some $25 billion in budget improvement measures that are taking our budget back towards balance. That $25 billion in budget improvement measures barely got any assistance from those opposite. They have worked against us every single occasion where we have sought to bring the budget back to balance.

When you do the disciplined thing of ensuring that you make the savings to support the promises that you make, it means you can do this: you can deliver affordable child care for Australian families. You do not do it by raiding the finances of taxpayers; you do it by ensuring you do it in an affordable way. On top of that, as part of the budget, we said we would deliver $2.9 billion in hospital funding to the states and territories—again, paid for by the disciplined financial management of the budget that we handed down in May. We are also working to ensure that we can fund the NDIS and fill the big black gaping hole left by the Labor Party, who were big on promises when it comes to supporting disabled people but when it came to funding it they left the taxpayer short. We saw this at the last election. The Labor Party went the last election and said they wanted to increase the deficit by $16½ billion—higher taxes, higher deficits and higher debt. The Labor Party are a triple A threat to our triple A economy.