Senate debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Questions without Notice


2:02 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

I can confirm that in February 2018 that was the Prime Minister's intention and the government's intention, and it was, of course, part of our overall national plan for a stronger economy and more jobs, which is working. You've got to remember that, when we came into government in September 2013, we inherited a weakening economy, rising unemployment and a rapidly deteriorating budget position.

Over the last five years, as a result of the work of, first, the Abbott government and, since then, the Turnbull government, the economy has generated more than a million new jobs. We have cut taxes for 3.3 million small and medium-sized businesses. We have delivered tax relief of up to $530 per year for working Australians. We've cracked down on multinational tax avoidance. We have delivered record jobs growth, including a record 400,000 jobs last year and, of course, more than a million jobs since September 2013. We are getting Australians off welfare and into jobs, with the lowest number of working-age Australians on welfare in 25 years, and we are getting more young Australians into work with our PaTH youth jobs program. We're returning the budget to surplus a year ahead of schedule. We have delivered the biggest reforms to child care. We have delivered new export deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We have guaranteed essential services, with record funding for hospitals and schools.

We have listed or amended 1,700 medicines on the PBS. Remember when the Labor Party was in government? They made such a mess of the budget they had to stop listing new medicines on the PBS. When you deliver a stronger economy and more jobs and you collect more revenue for government, do you know what happens? You can afford to list more important medicines on the PBS, and that is, of course, what we are doing. We have guaranteed Medicare, with record funding and record GP bulk-billing rates of 86.1 per cent. We are investing a record $75 billion in congestion-busting infrastructure, and the list goes on. (Time expired)


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