House debates

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Questions without Notice


2:21 pm

Photo of Kevin AndrewsKevin Andrews (Menzies, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Could the Treasurer explain to the House the importance of delivering stable and certain economic management to address the real issue of uncertainties in the global economy? Would the Treasurer also remind the House of why it's not the time for panicking or talking down the Australian economy?

2:22 pm

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Menzies for his question. I know that, in his electorate—the constituents that he's fighting hard for—there are around 20,000 small businesses that will be able to access the instant asset write-off and more than 60,000 taxpayers who will get a tax cut as a result of legislation we on this side of the House supported.

The Australian economy faces some significant global economic headwinds. In the last six months the IMF, the OECD and the World Bank have all downgraded their global growth forecasts. In fact, global consumer confidence is now at its lowest level in four years and global business confidence is at its lowest level since 2012. The IMF have said that, if the trade tensions between China and the United States don't abate, global growth will be down by around $700 billion by next year. So it's more important than ever that we stay the course and stick to our plan, continue to invest in infrastructure and tax cuts, and provide the opportunity to create more jobs with things like our 10-year $100 billion infrastructure pipeline, with $3.8 billion being brought forward; like our more than $300 billion of tax cuts, which will abolish a whole tax bracket—the 37c-in-the-dollar tax bracket—and like our announcement yesterday of a $540 million business growth fund that will back small businesses around the country.

It's this calm and disciplined approach to the economy that has seen today mining investment have its biggest jump since 2012 and that saw Standard & Poor's say just yesterday that the outlook for the Australian economy is sound. Our steady, methodical, considered approach to the economy is in stark contrast to the panicked approach of those opposite, with their focus on higher taxes and reckless spending. The Labor Party aren't interested in the real issues about the economy, because they've got a shadow Treasurer who's in witness protection! He has averaged about one question a week. Even the member for McMahon doubled that average. He had two questions a week.

A government member: Free Jim!

Free Jim! The shadow Treasurer is averaging about one question a week. The Labor Party aren't interested in questions about infrastructure, they're not interested in questions about tax, they're not interested in questions about jobs, because the Labor Party can only be relied on for one thing: $387 billion of higher taxes. (Time expired)