Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House how the government's strong economic management is bringing the budget back into surplus and making it possible to pay back Labor's debt? Is the Treasurer aware of higher taxing alternatives?
I thank the member for Fisher for his question. He knows that this side of the House is presiding over a strong Australian economy. When we came to government, economic growth was 2.1 per cent; today it is 2.8 per cent. When we came to government, unemployment was 5.7 per cent; today it is five per cent, the lowest level in seven years. We on this side of the House have created more than 1.2 million new jobs. We are seeing the greatest proportion of those aged between 25 and 54 in employment on record, over 80 per cent, and over 100,000 people aged 15 to 24 got a new job over the last financial year. That was the highest number on record. 200,000 Australian women found employment in 2017-18, which was the highest number in 30 years. Not only are we creating jobs and growing the economy but this year, when we deliver a budget on 2 April, it will be the first budget surplus in over a decade. The benefit of having a strong economy is that you can spend more money on hospitals and schools, list more drugs on the PBS and spend a record $75 billion on congestion-busting infrastructure.
When we deliver surpluses in the years ahead, we will be paying back Labor's debt. The Labor Party left us $240 billion in accumulated deficits. When the Labor Party was last in office, debt was growing by a remarkable 30 per cent plus per year. That was the Labor Party's record. Now, what is the risk to the Australian economy? It's $200 billion of higher taxes from those opposite: on your business, your income, your savings, your property and your electricity bill. They are hitting 900,000-plus retirees and people planning for retirement and 200,000 self-managed super funds. The member for McMahon, with his sheer arrogance, says to those people: 'If you don't like our policy, don't vote for us.' The Leader of the Opposition was afraid to stand up and defend the member for McMahon. How long will it be before he abandons him and his disastrous retiree tax?