House debates

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Questions without Notice


2:22 pm

Photo of Tony PasinTony Pasin (Barker, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House how a strong economy helps government deliver certainty and economic security for Australians, including in my electorate of Barker? Treasurer, are you aware of any divergent schemes which might threaten the prosperity of hardworking Australians?

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Barker for his economic question, because we don't get anything on the economy from those opposite. We get nothing on the economy. The member for McMahon is Mr Invisible. He can't get a question up in here about the economy. The reason is that the Australian economy is growing. The Australian economy is growing strongly and performing well. That's the view of the Reserve Bank of Australia. That's the view of the OECD. That's the view of the IMF. We are at five per cent unemployment, the lowest level since 2012, and wages have started to rise, with the biggest jump in three years. Australia's AAA credit rating was reaffirmed by the leading credit-rating agency, and Australia is one of only 10 countries in the world to have a AAA credit rating. There has been 3.4 per cent GDP growth, which is the fastest rate of growth since the height of the mining boom. The benefit of a strong economy is that we can deliver health and education services in record amounts. We can deliver the infrastructure, defence spending and border protection that the people expect, need and deserve.

The biggest threat to the Australian economy comes from those opposite. It comes from their taxes, from their changes to negative gearing, abolishing it as we know it, and from their changes to retirees' franking credits. It is a $45 billion tax grab on retirees and senior Australians, 84 per cent of whom have a taxable income under $37,000. Nine hundred thousand individuals will lose more than $2,000 on average as a result of Labor's plan. Two hundred thousand people with self-managed super funds will lose out as a result of Labor's plan, like David in Adelaide. He and his wife do not claim the age pension, but they will lose $10,000 a year as a result of Labor's plan. This will put them on the age pension; this will put them on the part pension.

The Labor Party talks about fairness, but how fair is it to increase taxes on retired Australians? How fair is it to take away the money from people who have planned for their retirement? How fair is it to push people onto the pension who have taken upon themselves a personal responsibility to save for their own retirement? Only the coalition can be trusted to cut taxes and help people who save for their own retirement.