Monday, 18 February 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on the importance of a strong economy and housing market for hardworking Australian families, including in my electorate of Dunkley? What are the risks of alternative approaches?
I thank the member for Dunkley for his question. He knows that on this side of the House we have overseen and delivered a strong Australian economy, an economy where we've created more than 1.2 million new jobs; that female workforce participation is near record highs; that over the last financial year more young people got a job than at any time on record; that our unemployment rate has come down to five per cent, the lowest level in seven years; and that we've maintained a AAA credit rating from the three leading agencies. This is enabling us to deliver the essential services that people need and deserve without increasing taxes.
Those opposite have a plan for $200 billion of new taxes, including a big new housing tax. Today the Prime Minister, the assistant minister to the Treasurer and I sat down with the Real Estate Institute of Australia, Master Builders Australia, the Property Council of Australia and other experts, and everyone shared their concerns about Labor's big new housing tax, which the master builders association said could cost 32,000 jobs and see 42,000 fewer dwellings being built.
The people who negatively gear—and there are 1.3 million of them, including 7,000 in the electorate of Dunkley, 8½ thousand in the member for Hotham's electorate, 16,000 in the member for Fenner's electorate, over 7,000 in the member for McMahon's electorate and over 10,000 in the member for Sydney's electorate—will see their homes and their investments worth less under the Labor Party's policy. Under Labor's policy everybody who owns a home will see it worth less, and under Labor's policy everyone who rents a house will end up paying more. In fact, there are over two million renters in Australia who are aged between 20 and 34, and the Labor Party's policy will see their rents go up.
The Labor Party used to believe in negative gearing. In fact, the now silent member for Lilley actually said, when he was the Treasurer, that it would be economically disastrous to do anything to negative gearing. That's what the member for Lilley said. Now he's part of an opposition that actually wants to smash housing prices and increase rents. The member for McMahon likes to look up to former Treasurer Paul Keating, but Paul Keating doesn't approve of Labor policies these days. This is what he said about the Labor Party: they've 'lost the ability to speak aspirationally and to fashion policies to meet those aspirations'. Only this side of the House stands up for the aspirations of homeowners and renters.