Senate debates

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers


3:06 pm

Photo of Zed SeseljaZed Seselja (ACT, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters) Share this | Hansard source

As Minister Cormann pointed out, when you have states and territories doing a pretty good job, in most cases, dealing with the health crisis and shutting things down and saying, 'You can't move here,' and, 'You can't move there,' and, 'This business can't open,' that has a serious impact on economic activity.

But the other lie the Labor Party seeks to perpetrate and thinks the Australian people are too stupid to notice is that somehow we went into this with an economy that wasn't doing well. That's not what the RBA governor was saying. He was forecasting economic growth of three per cent and more going into 2020 and 2021. He was forecasting unemployment to drop below five per cent, so that was the starting point the Liberal-National government had brought the country to.

The other starting point we had was a balanced budget. Having inherited a $48 billion deficit from the Labor Party, we balanced the budget, which of course has given us more fiscal firepower to be able to support Australians with JobKeeper and JobSeeker. Can you imagine if the deficits that had been run up under the Labor Party had continued, as they would have? We would have $40 billion and $50 billion deficits. So we had balanced the budget, we were strengthening our economy, unemployment was headed below five per cent, and now we're dealing with this challenge together as a nation. We'll deal with it. We'll come through this, because we will make changes. We will be nimble as an economy, as a government and as a country. That will help people get back into work, that will assist them with the skills they need and that will cut the red tape that gets in their way. We will get out of this together. But we are not going to be lectured to by the Labor Party living in a fantasy land, pretending the crisis doesn't exist.


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