Senate debates

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Questions without Notice

Pensions and Benefits

2:29 pm

Photo of Mitch FifieldMitch Fifield (Victoria, Liberal Party, Minister for Communications and the Arts) Share this | Hansard source

As I've said before, you don't have to choose between a good economic policy and a good social policy. They're two sides of the one coin. It's like breathing in and breathing out. Good economic policy, good budget policy, is breathing in; good social policy is breathing out. As evidence of this, the government spends more than a third of the Commonwealth budget on the provision of social security and welfare. We can do that because of a strong economy. We've pursued economic growth not as an end in itself—and we haven't pursued good budget policy as an end itself—but in order to sustain the essential services that Australians rely on. Under Labor, in contrast, social security and welfare was growing at an average of 6.2 per cent per year, much faster that total tax revenues of 3.3 per cent per year. Under the coalition, social security and welfare have been growing at an average rate of 2.9 per cent per year, lower than the growth in total tax revenues of 5.3 per cent per year. This is sustainable. (Time expired)

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