Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer remind the House how the Morrison government's strong leadership and our resilient economy are delivering on our commitment to generate more and more jobs for all Australians, and is the Treasurer aware of any alternative policies?
I thank the member for Stirling for his question. I acknowledge his tremendous contribution to good policy on this side of the House, as an outstanding advocate for his community, as somebody who spent time in the Australian Defence Force and in the private sector and who has seen more than 19,000 people across his electorate graduate from JobKeeper. Eighty per cent of those who have been on JobKeeper in the electorate of Stirling have now graduated. He understands how the Australian economy, facing the single largest economic shock since the Great Depression, has rebounded strongly.
We saw economic growth of 3.1 per cent in the December quarter. For the first time since records began back in 1959, we have seen two consecutive quarters of economic growth above three per cent. And what was particularly pleasing is that it is the private sector that is helping to lead this recovery, with incentives that the Morrison government has put in place like HomeBuilder and like the immediate expensing. We've seen dwelling investment up. We've seen business investment up. We've seen household consumption up and we have seen motor vehicle sales up. We've also seen our labour market be tremendously resilient, with the unemployment rate falling to 5.8 per cent. There were 88,700 jobs created in the month of February alone and all those jobs were full-time jobs. More than 80 per cent of those jobs went to women and more than 40 per cent of those jobs went to young people.
Despite those on the other side of the House trying to talk down the Australian economy, we have seen its tremendous resilience, and we've seen 2.7 million Australians graduate off JobKeeper. And even as JobKeeper comes to an end in March, we will see continued economic support from the Morrison government. Already $9 billion of tax cuts have gone through to households, with another $12 billion to go. We've seen more money going into infrastructure. We've seen 340,000 training places.
Dr Leigh interjecting—
I am asked whether there are any alternative policies. We know that those opposite stand for one thing: higher taxes. We all remember—indeed the Australian people remember—$387 billion of higher taxes, when the member for Rankin called them 'the top end of town', when the member for Maribyrnong talked about retirees sitting at the back of their yachts and when the member for McMahon said, 'If you don't like our policy, don't vote for it.' Well, they remember—higher taxes on superannuation, on income, on housing and on retirees—and they voted against Labor's high-taxing, high-spending policy. They voted for the coalition, and we have delivered lower taxes and more jobs.