Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister advise the House of what action the government is taking to reduce power bills and improve energy reliability for hardworking Australian families and businesses, including in my electorate of Hughes? And is the Prime Minister aware of any alternative approaches?
I thank the honourable member for his question. Australians are all too aware of the alternative, because it is a Labor Party committed to more expensive and less reliable energy. That is the consequence of their policies and we don't need to theorise about it; we know exactly what Labor's policies have done. Australians are living with higher electricity prices and less reliable electricity because of Labor policies, and none more so than the people of South Australia where the policies were taken to their natural culmination, with completely unreliable power and the most expensive power in Australia.
It's not just, of course, the cost of power that impinges on Australian families and Australian businesses. What about tax? What about the 3½ million Australians who work for companies and businesses that are benefitting from our enterprise tax cuts? What about them? Today I was out at a bakery in Sutton—a family business, a husband-and-wife business—with Nick and Louise, and they said they had built their business out of the earnings from their own business. They built it up from a small business in Fyshwick, expanded it, and now they've moved to Sutton. They have 60 employees. It's not a big business in terms of turnover, but there are 60 jobs there. What they will have now, as a result of our policies and our legislation, is more money after tax to keep putting back into that business, to grow it and to employ more people. That's what they will be able to do.
Mr Hill interjecting—
And they have the prospect of lower electricity prices, thanks to the National Energy Guarantee, because of the reduction in wholesale generation costs, as forecast by the Energy Security Board. We know what Labor promises: much more expensive electricity and much less reliable electricity. But where does Labor stand on tax? The member for McMahon was cross-examined earlier this week by Samantha Maiden, and he didn't enjoy it. She was very persistent, but she was not able to get him to say that they would maintain the enterprise tax cuts for small and medium businesses. So he is saying that he denounces cuts to company tax. What he is saying to Nick and Louise and thousands of other businesses and the millions of people they employ is that a Labor government will not only make your energy more expensive, it will jack your taxes up as well. And what is that going to do? Less investment and less jobs—that's the Labor way.
Dr Chalmers interjecting—