House debates

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Questions without Notice


2:00 pm

Photo of Jim ChalmersJim Chalmers (Rankin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. In his statement on the national accounts why did the Treasurer neglect to mention that today's numbers show that economic growth was below the previous quarter, below average, below what he inherited and all before the coronavirus hit?

2:01 pm

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

Thank you for that dixer from the member for Rankin, who we know likes to tax a lot. The reality is this: in the most recent national accounts, for the December quarter, growth was 0.5 per cent. That was better than market expectations. It saw through-the-year growth to 2.2 per cent. In the quarter before the December quarter was the September quarter. What was through-the-year growth then? 1.8 per cent. The member for Rankin is the only person who thinks that 2.2 is below 1.8. The reality is that through-the-year growth increased. The IMF, as recently as January of this year, said the Australian economy will grow faster this year and next than the United States, than Canada, than Japan, than Germany, than France and than the United Kingdom. The member for Rankin fails to understand that when Labor was last in government unemployment was 5.7 per cent, and today it is 5.3 per cent. The member for Rankin fails to understand that household disposable income in the last six months of 2019 had its biggest jump in 5½ years. The member for Rankin fails to understand that the Australian people want lower taxes, not higher taxes, and there's only one side of this chamber that can guarantee lower taxes. That's the coalition under this Prime Minister.