House debates

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Questions without Notice


2:13 pm

Photo of Julian LeeserJulian Leeser (Berowra, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House the right choices the government is making with respect to future taxpayers in ensuring that the government lives within its means?

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

I thank the member for his question and his keen interest. He knows, like all members on this side of the House do, how important it is for a government to live within its means. When we came to office we inherited a debt that was growing at three times the rate it is today. We inherited expenditure that was growing at some 3½ per cent and more, and as a government we have continued to be able to ensure that that growth in expenditure retains a level of less than two per cent, which is a prudent thing to do in terms of constraining expenditure—a strong fiscal outlook that provides a strong foundation for our nation's finances to be able to guarantee the services that Australians rely on and to give us the ability to absorb future shocks when and where they may come. So, as a result of the budget that we have handed down, on the fiscal side of the equation, Australia continues to be in a better position as a result of the economic and financial management of the Turnbull government.

We have legislated and implemented some $25 billion worth of additional budget improvements since the last election. It included measures those opposite opposed. Mr Speaker, in this budget, as you know, we started from a point where we were $13½ billion behind because of the constant obstruction and frustration of our measures to get expenditure even further under control by those who sit opposite. Despite the obstruction by those opposite as they jeer, sneer and carry on with their usual political games, we have not been distracted from the task we have. The task we have is to bring that budget back to balance. It remains projected to be in balance by 2021.

By the year 2018-19 we will be in a position where the government is no longer borrowing to pay for everyday expenditure. A Treasurer has not been able to say that for a decade. It is very important that when the government borrows it borrows for important new infrastructure. It also borrows, in this case, looking out over the medium term, to ensure that we do not touch and draw down from the Future Fund. Our decision to not draw down on the Future Fund and to ensure we meet those unfunded superannuation liabilities, which will be done through the borrowings because we will borrow at a lesser rate than the Future Fund, is earning for this country. That means that, whilst the gross debt over the next 10 years will be higher for that reason, we are not drawing down on the Future Fund, which will save taxpayers literally for a century, ensuring that we protect the Future Fund. If those opposite had been elected at the last election they would have raided the Future Fund like bandits. (Time expired.)

2:16 pm

Photo of Bill ShortenBill Shorten (Maribyrnong, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Given the additional budget year, what is the updated cost of the Prime Minister's full 10-year company tax cut? Is the Prime Minister asserting it is still $26 billion?

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

I confirm the answer the Prime Minister gave previously in relation to the original plan. The full cost is $36.5 billion from 1 July 2017.