House debates

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Questions without Notice


2:28 pm

Photo of Bridget ArcherBridget Archer (Bass, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House how the Morrison government's consistent belief in economic management is keeping our economy resilient in the face of persistent challenges? Is the Treasurer aware of any alternative approaches that could threaten our economic prosperity?

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

I thank the member for Bass for her question. She's been a farmer, a local mayor and a strong advocate for the state of Tasmania, like the member for Braddon is. It's a state which has seen the strongest retail sales across the country, with turnover growing at 6.8 per cent through the year to December. That's the strongest growth in retail sales in more than five years.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank has said that the economic fundamentals of this country are very strong. We have the first balanced budget in 11 years. We have a record number of Australians who are in work. We have passed through the parliament, as a result of the last two budgets, more than $300 billion in tax cuts.

Not everyone in this place has had a clear and decisive position when it comes to lower taxes. The Leader of the Opposition has been up and down like an Otis elevator. He was asked about the tax cuts at a doorstop after the tax cuts had passed: 'Labor initially stood in the way of the tax cuts, but you've ended up with those tax cuts anyway.' The Leader of the Opposition replied, 'No, we didn't.' So the journalist asked him again: 'So you've had a win this week, with the legislation that has passed the parliament?' The Leader of the Opposition said: 'No, we didn't. We lost the vote.' The journalist asked him again: 'How did you lose the vote when you cast your vote with the government in the Senate?' The Leader of the Opposition: 'No, we didn't.'

The reality is that the Leader of the Opposition doesn't know what he stands for and he doesn't know what he votes for. No wonder there have been 20 MPs on the side opposite who have met in secret, not telling their leader, not telling their deputy, not telling their shadow Treasurer. Only this side of the House is committed to lower taxes and a stronger economy.