House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Questions without Notice


3:26 pm

Photo of Nola MarinoNola Marino (Forrest, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and Minister for Women. Will the minister update the House on how the government's economic plan is helping to get more Australians, including more women, into the workforce? How does this compare with different approaches?

Photo of Kelly O'DwyerKelly O'Dwyer (Higgins, Liberal Party, Minister for Jobs) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Forrest for her question. She must be one of the hardest working members in this place, and I congratulate her on being the very first female Chief Government Whip in this place—and what a fantastic job she does! Like the rest of this side of the chamber, she knows how important it is to give all Australians the opportunity to be able to get a job, to enter the workforce and to be able to secure their financial future, because she understands that a job does just that: it helps to build financial security for yourself and for your family, and it gives people and families more choices about their lives. We are delivering as a government, through our economic plan, the ability to create those jobs through lower taxes and more investment. We have in fact delivered, under our economic stewardship, more than 1.2 million new jobs in this country, which means that we have more Australians in work than ever before. This is a record.

As Minister for Women, I'm particularly pleased that the majority of those 1.2 million new jobs are in fact held by women. In fact, we are at an all-time high when you consider the number of women who are in work now: almost six million women in work right now, which is a record. They are enjoying the financial benefits of being able to get and keep a job. In fact, when you compare us to those opposite, there are 700,000 more women in the workforce compared to when Labor left office, and there are more women in full-time work, which is now standing at a record high, with around 400,000 more women in full-time jobs compared to when Labor left office. So the contrast couldn't be clearer. Under our government, there are more people in work than ever before and more women in work than ever before. Under those opposite, there will be fewer people employed.

We can't help but also point out the fact that, when people earn a wage, 9.5 per cent of that wage goes to their retirement savings, and we as a government have been delivering. We've been delivering for all Australians but particularly for women. We're the ones who deliver the low-income superannuation tax offset, which helps women, particularly low-income women, benefiting around 1.9 million Australian women to the tune of half a billion dollars each and every year. We're giving flexibility measures, catch-up contributions and concessional contributions, levelling the playing field. These are things that the Leader of the Opposition would scrap if he were given the opportunity to govern, and he would also impose a mega retiree tax that would hurt Australian women.