Thursday, 4 April 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Is it a moral failure for the Prime Minister to pay for his forecast election surplus by starving the NDIS of money, leaving Australians with a disability without the services they need—like the young family in Victoria whose daughter has an intellectual disability? She waited 10 months for her NDIS funding to be processed, which delayed her getting the speech therapy she needs to learn to engage at school.
I refer the member to my earlier answer. The NDIS is one of the biggest social projects we've been engaged in and to ever come out of this chamber. There is multipartisan support, with the crossbench and others supporting this program. All of our attention is needed to continue to improve its delivery, whether it's the case that the member referred to or any of the many other cases that we are all aware of as we implement this very difficult program that requires tailored programs and packages of support to each and every single individual. Our government is committed to that.
I'll tell you what's shameful. It's shameful for the member to seek to exploit the disabilities of Australians and to cause fear and anxiety amongst Australians who are living with disabilities. That is what's shameful. That is what is morally shameful. We will stand here ready to support every dollar that the NDIS needs every single day. We will do it as we did when we were in opposition and we will do it as we have done in government. It has our full attention and it has our full support. It will get every single dollar it needs. I appeal to the Labor Party not to engage in these dark, political, shameful questions that reflect not on the morality of the government but on the morality of the Leader of the Opposition.
Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting—
My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the government's strong economic plan has ensured that we pay back Labor's debt and repair the budget? Are there any alternatives to this approach?
It took John Howard and Peter Costello years to pay back Labor's debt. Now it has been left to the Morrison government to do it again. On budget night we put the first payment back on Labor's debt, with a surplus of $7.1 billion and $45 billion of surpluses over the forward estimates and a $55 billion turnaround on the fiscal mess that we inherited from the Labor Party. We have brought spending under control. Growth in government spending is now the lowest of any government in 50 years. The proportion of working-age Australians on welfare is the lowest of any government in 30 years. We have funded hospitals, schools and roads in record amounts. We have done all of that without increasing taxes. That is what we've done.
The Labor Party are going to take to the Australian people at the next election a plan for at least $200 billion of new taxes. There is a new booklet out about Labor's taxes.
I want to table the booklet, Mr Speaker. Thank you very much. Labor's tax bill—$200 billion of new taxes: a housing tax, with a 50 per cent increase in capital gains that could come at the worst possible time for the housing market; a shameful retirees tax on more than one million Australians who have done nothing wrong; a new tax on superannuation that's going to prevent catch-up contributions for mothers who have been out of the workforce having children; and a tax on family businesses, which is going to make their lives that much more difficult.
When it comes to the housing tax, whatever the Leader of the Opposition says, for lower income earners, what he needs to tell the people of Australia tonight is how he's going to increase their rents, because, if you live in Brisbane, your rent will go up by up to $90 a week. If you're in Melbourne, your rent will go up by up to $65 a week. If you're in Adelaide or if you're in Perth, your rent will go up by up to $60 a week. And if you're in Sydney, under Labor's plan, your rent will go up by up to $50 a week.
So the Labor Party has a plan for higher taxes. Any promise they make tonight, the Australian people will know, is only funded by higher taxes.