House debates

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Statements by Members


1:56 pm

Photo of Stephen JonesStephen Jones (Whitlam, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

The Prime Minister wants Australians to think that the economy is strong, but in their households they know the story is very, very different. Today they learned that median household income is lower in real terms under this government than it was when they took office in 2013.

There has also been a significant decline in income mobility. What this means is that if you're born poor, you're more likely to stay poor. The proportion of people living below the poverty line has increased by 10 per cent under this government—that's 200,000 more Australians living in poverty. Meanwhile, the average Australian is spending 23 per cent more time travelling to work than they were in 2002.

The government's answers to these problems are to give the big end of town a tax cut; to freeze infrastructure spending or delay infrastructure spending, when it is needed now; to cut spending on TAFE; and to cut spending on universities. Prime Minister, if it is taking Australians longer to get to work, if they're spending a longer time at work and if they're taking less money home, how on earth can you say that the economy is strong for ordinary, everyday Australians?