House debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Questions without Notice


2:34 pm

Photo of John AlexanderJohn Alexander (Bennelong, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the release of recent data on the Australian economy demonstrates how the government's economic plan is working to drive economic growth and create jobs? Is the Treasurer aware of any different approaches to managing the economy?

Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for McEwen is warned.

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

I thank the member for Bennelong for his question. He will be particularly pleased to know that the Australian economy has continued to move in the right direction. Do you know who said that? The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. That is the endorsement from the Reserve Bank of Australia about the direction of the Australian economy. The government's plan for a stronger economy is working and we're seeing that reflected in the most recent data.

Today, construction in the private sector has grown for the past 12 quarters under the Turnbull government. That is the longest consecutive run of growth in over 30 years. Over 30 years! Under this government investments are being made in nation-building infrastructure. There is a $75 billion rolling infrastructure program. Taxes are coming down. Unemployment is coming down. The number of jobs is going up. Another thing that has happened for the first time in 30 years, in the last financial year, is the growth in employment for young people—95,500 young people getting a job—which is why on this side of the House we come to work every day to get jobs for young people, to get small businesses growing, to ensure that we're growing the economy so we can put drugs on the PBS, affordable medicines for Australia, so we can make sure that hospitals can get the extra funding they need, so we can have real needs based funding for schools, right across the country, to ensure that children can get that support in their education. That's what a stronger economy does. Under this government we're getting a stronger economy, and that is enabling this government to deliver and guarantee the essential services that all Australians rely on.

You'd think everyone would believe this statement: the only way to ensure that there's more prosperity is to grow the economy. That seems like a pretty reasonable statement you would all agree with. But not so for the member for Batman. When this happened and she was questioned about this, she said, 'There's nothing to prove that that works'. She says, and disagrees with the statement, 'The only way to ensure that there's more prosperity is to grow the economy.' The member for Batman doesn't think that's true. The member for Batman also doesn't believe this is true. She said, 'Any reduction in the corporate tax rate is going to lead to more investment; it's going to push—'. She said, 'No, that's not true. There's no evidence anywhere else in the world to prove that that is the case.' Well, we know that the Leader of the Opposition said this:

Any student of Australian business and economic history since the mid-80s knows that part of Australia's success was derived through the reduction in the company tax rate.

The Leader of the Opposition thinks his backbenchers are nothing, that they know nothing about the Australian economy. I think he's right. I think he's absolutely right. (Time expired)