Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister outline to the House the government's plan for a strong economy and a secure future and what this means for all Australians, including people living in my electorate of Dunkley? Why is the government determined to stick to its plan?
I thank the member for Dunkley for his question. Mr Speaker, we do have such a plan. It's a plan we have been implementing since we were first elected 5½ years ago, which I upgraded and released just two weeks ago. I table that economic plan for a stronger economy and a secure future.
That is our plan that is building an even stronger Australia both now and in the future. It is the plan that has delivered already more than a million jobs ahead of the five-year promise that we took to the election back in 2013. It is the plan that has already delivered lower taxes for some 10 million taxpayers around the country. It is the plan that has delivered lower taxes for 3.3 million small businesses, employing seven million Australians. It is the plan that has delivered the lowest level of welfare dependency of the working-age population in more than 30 years. It is the plan that has delivered the highest level of employment around the prime-age working population that we have seen in economic record.
It is the plan that is delivering the essential services that Australians rely on, because it is only from a stronger economy that you can deliver those essential services that Australians rely on. There is some $37.6 billion in schools funding, an average of a 62 per cent increase in funding per student. There is a $5.7 billion fund and support for drought relief, as the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources has been driving forward. There is record funding for both Medicare, going from $25 billion to $29 billion, and the highest bulk-billing rates we have seen, with bulk-billing at record levels. We have seen a fully funded NDIS, with 1,900 new medicines. All of this is funded by a stronger economy and a government that knows how to manage the budget. Now, that is what we've been delivering. That's what our economic plan is about. It's about having a stronger economy.
Now, there are alternative plans, and they are the alternative plans of the leader of the Labor Party, who wants to take $200 billion and higher taxes—the biggest tax wet blanket—and throw it across the economy, and he thinks it will make no difference. Taxing the economy out of existence is the plan of the leader of the Labor Party. Our plan is to make our economy stronger, and that's why our plan will generate 1¼ million new jobs over the next five years. We have the record to demonstrate that we have generated those jobs. There is jobs growth for younger people, with the greatest period of jobs growth for young people that this country has seen—an economic record. There is jobs growth for older Australians, above the age of 55. There is jobs growth for women, as we've seen record participation levels for women, with over 650,000 jobs created. Our economic plan is creating a stronger Australia. Labor's plans will create a weaker Australia.