Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Will the minister update the House on how the government is ensuring that Australian businesses can create jobs and invest in a competitive international economy? What are the risks of harming investment in Australian jobs by following a very different course?
I thank the member for Leichhardt for his question—and what a magnificent advocate he is for the people of North Queensland. Australia is a significant global economy. We are the 12th or 13th largest economy in the world. Our economic growth rate at 3.1 per cent is higher than any of the G7 economies. Indeed, it is higher than New Zealand—and I welcome the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand here today—and higher than South Korea.
Mr Champion interjecting—
Over the last 12 months we've created 300,000 new jobs. Female participation is at the highest rate ever. Female participation in our workforce is at a record higher, and youth unemployment is at the lowest level in six years. Through strong economic management, we've now turned the corner on Labor's debt and deficit, and we will be returning to surplus next year. We have the lowest expenditure growth rate of any government in 50 years. That's why Australia is one of only 10 economies that has retained a AAA credit rating, as rated by all the major credit agencies.
I am asked if there are any risks from a different course. Yes, the course forecast by Labor is a threat to jobs, to our budget and to our strong economic management. Today the Australian Labor Party voted against corporate tax cuts, which means that Australia will now have the second-highest corporate tax rates across 36 OECD economies.
Ms Plibersek interjecting—
This means that there is now a unity ticket—the socialist-communist coalition of Portugal and the Australian Labor Party. So the Australian Labor Party and the socialist-communist coalition of Portugal believe in having the highest corporate tax rates in the world.
The Labor Party are risking jobs, because they said the Trans-Pacific Partnership was dead. That is providing jobs for Australians across this country. The Labor Party voted against the Turnbull government's multinational tax avoidance legislation, and the Australian Taxation Office have confirmed that that law alone has meant an additional $7 billion in tax revenue into our economy that we are investing in health and education areas. The Labor Party stands for higher unemployment, higher taxes and higher costs. We stand for lower taxes and more jobs.