Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. This morning, less than 24 hours after delivering the budget, the government caved in to Labor pressure and backflipped on energy payments for thousands of vulnerable Australians, blowing an $80 million black hole in the budget. Prime Minister, doesn't this just confirm, after six years of cuts and chaos, that this budget is nothing but a con that has already fallen apart?
Mr Littleproud interjecting—
I have a couple of corrections for the Leader of the Opposition. First of all, the payments that are being made in the bill that went through in this House are not in the 2019-20 year. That's the budget year. What we're talking about is the 2018-19 year. I know these are things that are a bit of a mystery to the Leader of the Opposition, but I can tell you why we're in a position to provide that one-off payment to Australians this year that was in the government's bill introduced to the House this morning. That is that, since the last budget was handed down—and I did that as Treasurer—the performance of the budget over the last 12 months has meant that we are $10 billion better off this time this year than we were at the time when we handed down the last budget. We believe that when we're in that position where we have outperformed on our budget and where we've been able to deliver a better financial outcome we should take the opportunity to ensure that those who need it most are given the opportunity to ease their cost-of-living pressures. That was the initiative that this government brought in. That was the initiative we acted on. I'm very pleased that it was able to pass through the House of Representatives today, and I trust it will also pass through the Senate later today to ensure that they get that relief.
But I can tell you that, if the Labor Party ever get to occupy the Treasury benches, there won't be the opportunity to share the best performance of a budget, because what we know from when Labor were in government is that budget after budget they would promise and fail to deliver. The member for Lilley will soon be leaving this chamber, but right now we can certainly say that we are in his debt. We are absolutely in the member for Lilley's debt. Over the next 10 years, we will eliminate the Labor debt that was left to this government, because we have put the budget back into surplus. Over the next decade, we will wipe out the debt that was created by the financial recklessness of the Labor Party. They cannot manage money. They cannot be trusted to manage money. What we know, because they can't manage money, is that, when they can't find it in their own budget, they come after the budgets of retirees, families and small-business people. That's what they come after—the budgets of farmers, pastoralists and graziers. They couldn't even bring themselves to vote for a drought fund.
Ms Kearney interjecting—
I note that the member for Batman is leaving the chamber. Remember that the member for Batman is the one who said paying tax is a privilege. That's what the member for Batman says. I think Australians should be able to keep more of what they earn. I think they've had enough of the privilege of taxes—
Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting—
and certainly the privileges that the Labor Party want to put on them with the $200 billion worth of more tax privileges that they'd like to put on hardworking Australians. We'll keep taxes low.
Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting—