House debates

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Questions without Notice


2:18 pm

Photo of Ted O'BrienTed O'Brien (Fairfax, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question goes to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how a strong economy allows the government to deliver services and a lower cost of living for all Australians, including those in my electorate of Fairfax? How would a weaker economy, through higher taxes, put these outcomes at risk?

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

I thank the member for Fairfax for his question, because he is committed, like we are on this side of the House, to growing the economy, to creating more jobs, and to bringing the budget back to surplus without increasing taxes. That is what we have done in creating new jobs and growing the economy, and next year we'll bring the budget back into surplus. That's good news for more than 21,000 small businesses across the electorate of Fairfax. What we won't do is slug the hardworking people of Fairfax—like the more than 8,000 people in his electorate and more than a quarter of a million across Queensland who use negative gearing—with a new tax. What we won't do is slug the more than 7,000 people in his electorate of Fairfax who currently are getting the benefits of franking credits—like the Labor Party will with their retirees tax.

Today's national accounts saw the Australian economy continue to perform strongly: 2.8 per cent GDP growth sees Australia's economy growing faster than the OECD average and growing faster than any G7 country except the United States. We've seen our AAA credit rating reaffirmed, we've seen unemployment come down to five per cent and we've seen more than a million new jobs being created. We recently saw the wage price index increase by 2.3 per cent, which is the biggest jump in three years. And the Reserve Bank governor has said they'll continue to see a pick-up in wages growth and that this will be a welcome development. The benefit of a strong economy is the record spending on health and education that is occurring on our watch.

Opposite, they want to tax you from the cradle to the grave, and the most pernicious of taxes is the retirees tax. In the member for McMahon's electorate, around 3,000 people will be affected, like Senca, who said that she and her husband have worked for 30 years: 'We've saved, we've scrimped, we've sacrificed to be self-sufficient financially and not be a burden on the welfare system.' They cannot believe what Labor is doing and what is now being proposed by their own shadow Treasurer. Alan, in the Labor electorate of Richmond, will lose over $2½ thousand a year or $50 a week. Alan wrote to the shadow Treasurer and said of his response, 'It was offensive and deliberately misleading.' That is what a constituent in the electorate of Richmond said. Jack from the electorate of Jagajaga said he works in a working-class suburb, his wife is a nurse, he was a draftsman and he will stand to lose significantly under Labor's policy. On this side of the House, we will grow the economy, we'll create new jobs and we'll lower taxes—a stark contrast to those opposite. (Time expired)