House debates

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Questions without Notice

Morrison Government: Economy

3:03 pm

Photo of Gladys LiuGladys Liu (Chisholm, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business. Will the minister update the House on how the Morrison government's economic plan is supporting Australian small businesses and securing stability and certainty for the future? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?

3:04 pm

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Chisholm for her question and for the outstanding way she represents, and stands up for, the 22,100 small businesses in her electorate. This month I accompanied the Prime Minister to the member's electorate, and we went to Core Equipment and caught up with Core's managing director, Steve. We heard Steve talk about the impact that JobKeeper had and the impact that the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements had on his business—

Photo of Andrew WallaceAndrew Wallace (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Lyons is warned.

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | | Hansard source

Steve spoke about the government's $2 billion investment in the JobTrainer program and how that's made such a difference that Steve is putting on 50 new staff in Core Equipment this year. It's extraordinary. Because of the Morrison government's economic input, Steve's business is not just surviving; it is thriving. That's what economic recovery looks like. That's what unemployment at 4.2 per cent looks like. That's what the second-highest participation rate in our nation's history looks like. That's what the highest participation rate of women looks like. I know we all celebrate that achievement, driven by the Morrison government's economic inputs. There are 3½ million small and family businesses—they make up 99 per cent of businesses out there; we all know that—and the Morrison government is delivering writ large for those businesses.

Over 1.1 million Australian jobs have been created since the pandemic hit. There are 250,000 more Australians in work right now than pre COVID. We are one of the only industrialised nations on earth to have achieved that. Our plan is working. It's extraordinary. It is moving us forward, and this is why the Reserve Bank predicts an unemployment rate with a 'three' in front of it. We're able to get there because of the financial supports the Morrison government has put in place during a one-in-100-year pandemic. We've delivered over $314 billion in direct economic supports. There's more to do. We're not there yet. Since 2013, this side of politics—the government—has put in over 370 small business measures. That is extraordinary. We've delivered everything from tax deductions, from 30 per cent down to 25 per cent, to the payment times reporting register, so that business can see exactly what the payment times of large businesses is There's always more to do.

I'm asked about alternative approaches. Unfortunately, this side has put in 370 measures for small business. Can anyone imagine how many measures for small business the opposition have announced leading into an election in less than a hundred days? Zero. Nil. Zilch. Zip. Nothing. Not a sausage. Not a one. Not a single statement on small business! That is what the Leader of the Opposition and his frontbench think of the powerhouse of the economy. (Time expired)