Monday, 2 December 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that, in the past few weeks alone, it has been revealed that weak wages growth has slowed even further; business capital expenditure is now 30 per cent lower than when this government came to office; retail trade has gone backwards, with the worst result in 30 years; and labour productivity has declined for the first time since records began?
I can confirm that, after the election, people's taxes didn't go up. I can confirm that, after the election, the National Skills Commission was established, and we brought forward some $9½ billion worth of investment in support of the Australian economy. I can confirm that thousands upon thousands of people have got extra jobs in this economy. I can confirm that businesses in this country kept putting people into work as a result of not having to face the higher taxes that those opposite were proposing at the last election. I can confirm that, in the most recent figures, capital-city house prices have gone up by two per cent; that's the strongest result since 2003.
And I can confirm that because, at the last election, Australians had a choice. Did they want a government, led by the Labor Party, that wanted to increase their taxes, thinking that was what the economy needed at a time when the economy was facing great challenges, both overseas and at home, in particular with the drought? Australians rightly concluded they didn't. They believed that they should have a government that wanted to invest $100 billion in infrastructure, and to proceed with trade agreements, whether with Indonesia or other countries, to ensure we expanded the frontiers of our economy. Every single time, it would seem, we have to drag the Labor Party kicking and screaming to support these trade agreements. They tried to start plenty, but they couldn't conclude any. And the reason they had that trouble is within their own ranks: they remain divided. They remain divided on the taxes that they still want to put on the Australian people. They remain divided on the issues of climate policy, for which there are about seven different positions across the opposition. They remind divided on whether we should be a friend of China's or we should be a foe of China's. They can't even deliver a coherent international policy.
The Australian people got it right on 18 May. They voted for keeping the economy strong in the hands of Australian politicians who know how to handle the money—that is, the Liberals and the Nationals. The Australian people know that they cannot trust Labor with money, and they know that the second the Labor Party gets its hands on the treasury bench it gets its hands on the wallets of Australians. They do not trust Labor with money. But they do trust this government and, in the difficult times that we face as a country, they know that our stable and certain economic management has the policies that are needed at this very important time for their economic futures.