House debates

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Questions without Notice

Workplace Relations

2:47 pm

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. In three months, JobKeeper will be ripped away and JobSeeker will be cut to $40 a day. Now the Prime Minister wants to also cut the take-home pay of working families. Don't the Prime Minister's cuts to JobKeeper, his cuts to JobSeeker and his cuts to take-home pay punish working families who have already had the toughest of years?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Once again, in relation to the issues of pay, the member opposite is not telling the truth. In relation to JobSeeker and JobKeeper, we can say that post September we saw 450,000 businesses employing more than two million Australians graduate from JobKeeper, and, at the same time, we saw the number of people on JobSeeker decline in net terms. So, as we continue to gear the economy back up through this comeback that is underway, the plan that we have set out is ensuring that our economy is getting stronger and stronger and those who are in jobs no longer need the income support from the taxpayer they needed before.

Opposition Member:

An opposition member interjecting

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I take the interjection from the shadow assistant minister in the economy portfolio who talked about unemployment. He would know that the effective rate of unemployment has almost halved. Indeed, it has halved since the peak of the crisis from 14.9 per cent to 7.4 per cent. I would have thought someone who claims to have great prowess in economics would understand what the effective rate of unemployment meant. But it doesn't suit his argument to know that we've seen 80 per cent of jobs come back—jobs that were either lost or reduced to zero hours. This recovery has a long way to go, and there are still difficult issues that need to be solved. We will engage constructively in delivering practical solutions which deliver a stronger economy which means more jobs and better wages. That's what we have been delivering and that's what we will continue to deliver. But the politics of division and the politics of conflict are what the Labor Party feeds off, most significantly, in times of desperation. I only wish to quote back to the Leader of the Opposition what he said back in July 2019. He said, 'People are tired of conflict that passes for politics these days.' He said, 'They want solutions to their challenges.' This Leader of the Opposition has no solutions; he just has desperate false measures dressed up as a way to ensure that he can protect himself.