Thursday, 13 February 2020
Questions without Notice
I thank Senator Henderson for that question. Let me say up-front: it's really good to be here. It's really good to be here to explain to the Senate what the Morrison government is doing to build a stronger economy, creating better opportunities for the Australian people to get ahead. Because when we came into government we inherited from the Labor Party a weakening economy, rising unemployment, a rapidly deteriorating budget position. We worked hard to turn that around.
Last financial year the budget returned to balance; this year we are on track to return the budget to surplus and we have the first current account surplus in 40 years. We have the lowest welfare dependency in more than 30 years. We have been able to give the biggest tax cuts in more than 20 years, leaving more money in peoples' pockets, and there have been more than 1.5 million new jobs created under our period in government. In fact, in December our employment rate fell to 5.1 per cent. When Labor lost government it was on the way past six per cent. Indeed, retail trade volumes in the December quarter grew at 0.5 per cent, the strongest increase in a year and a half. Household disposable income in the December quarter had its biggest rise in a decade under our government. Building approvals are up by almost three per cent, year on year.
This week the Westpac-Melbourne Institute survey said consumer sentiment was up by 2.3 per cent. We are delivering for the Australian people. While the Labor Party treats this institution with disrespect, we continue to do the job for the Australian people of building a stronger economy, creating more jobs, creating more opportunities for Australians to get ahead. That is why the Australian people re-elected us at the last election. That is why they voted against your socialist agenda, which they knew would leave every Australian worse off.