House debates

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Questions without Notice


2:35 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and the Minister for Women. Will the minister update the House on how the government's strong economic plan is helping to get more Australians, including more women, into the workforce? And what are the risks of a different approach?

2:36 pm

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

I thank the member for Robertson for her question. She knows that the coalition's economic plan is working and it is delivering for all Australians—delivering lower taxes, delivering a growing and strong economy, and, importantly, delivering more jobs. Of course, the proof of that was with the latest ABS labour force figures.

There are more Australians in work now than ever before. In January we saw employment increase by 39,100. It means, of course, that we have seen an increase as well in full-time employment. We have seen the growth accounted for in full-time employment account for 87 per cent of the total increase in full-time jobs over the last 12 months. And it means that there are more Australians in full-time work than ever before, with both male and female full-time employment at record highs.

Of course, there is a particular gold medal performer in this department, and that gold medal performer is Premier Gladys Berejiklian. The New South Wales unemployment figure has gone down to 3.9 per cent—the lowest on record since 1978. Of course, that was the year after I was born. Employment in New South Wales has reached record highs. Full-time employment has risen by more than 49,000 in January of this year. Of course, Gladys Berejiklian is not just a brilliant Premier, she is a brilliant woman.

As Minister for Women, I can also deliver good news that the gender pay gap has also gone down. The gender pay gap is now at a record low—at 14.2 per cent. It has gone down from 17.2 per cent—

Mr Brendan O'Connor interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Gorton is now warned.

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

which was Labor's record—17.2 per cent. I know they hate it. They find it really uncomfortable whenever I mention it because, of course, it is an achievement of our government to get it down.

What are the risks? Well, the risks are obvious. The risks of a Shorten Labor government are $200 billion worth of new or increased taxes—taxes on your retirement, taxes on your superannuation, taxes on your home, and, in particular, taxes on small businesses that are structured as trusts. Small business, of course, is one of the greatest engines for employment growth in this country, employing around seven million Australians. I don't know what they've got against small business, but I can tell you this: we are for small business, for job creation and for all Australians.