Senate debates

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Matters of Public Importance


4:35 pm

Photo of James McGrathJames McGrath (Queensland, Liberal National Party, Shadow Assistant Minister to the Leader of the Opposition) Share this | Hansard source

Yes, thank you, Senator Scarr. Interestingly, he said that 'inflation is taxation without legislation'. What we saw with the budget last night is a big government budget that is not the solution to our cost-of-living crisis; it is the cause of our cost-of-living crisis. Last night, hundreds of thousands of Australians turned on their TV to watch the budget—there was probably nothing on Netflix—because they wanted to see Treasurer Jim Chalmers, that disciple of Paul Keating, deliver the cost-of-living relief that they desperately need. But, much to their disappointment, all Australia saw was a typical inflationary Labor budget, with more taxes, more reckless spending and more inflation to come. So it's not surprising that they flicked back to Netflix, Stan or Paramount+, because they know how the budget is going to end. Just like they know how the movie's going to end, they know how this budget's going to end. It's going to hurt their purses, wallets and bank accounts.

Compared to the coalition's last budget, this budget had $185 billion of extra spending. For those who are hard of hearing, that's billion—not million, not thousand and not hundred. That is $185 billion worth of extra spending. That is $7,400 per person, and that $7,400 has to come from somewhere. Guess where it's going to come from? It's going to come from taxes that are going to be put on you, your income and your business. Basically, if it moves, Labor are going to tax it. If it doesn't move they're going to tax it, and, quite frankly, if it's having a nap, they'll tax it. This is the problem with this Labor government. We know how this movie is going to end. It is going to hurt the Australian people. Their record on economic management is so dismal, so poor, that the Australian people are going to be hurt.

With all this extra spending, what has Labor done to support the backbone of our economy, the mining and agriculture sectors? They're particularly important to Senator Scarr and myself, in terms of our state of Queensland. What did Labor do? What did they say about the $185 billion? The Treasurer didn't even mention the word 'rail', the word 'dam', the word 'road', the word 'farmer' or the word 'agriculture'. He's not going to spend his $185 billion—it's not 'his' $185 billion; I'll correct myself and the Hansard. It is $185 billion of Australians' money; it's not the Labor Party's money. They're not going to spend the money on supporting rural, regional and remote Queensland, but, more importantly, this money actually isn't going to help Australian families. It's not going to support Australian families. Treasurer Chalmers, in his 30-minute eulogy last night for the Australian economy, was a constant disappointment.

What is interesting is that, for every dollar of revenue imposed in this budget, the government decided to spend $2. So in this budget it is spending twice as fast as it's raising revenue. Try to run your family home on that. Try to run a business like that. But, of course, Labor haven't run businesses and, quite frankly, they're not very good at looking after their own money because they're all a bunch of union hacks who depend on the income from compulsorily acquiring union fees off the workers of Australia.

So what we are going to see with this budget is Australian families getting smashed. They might think there's a little bit of a sugar hit, but what we know is that, if you have reckless economic management, which is what we saw last night, that is going to impact upon inflation. That means the cost of living is going to go up. This budget is going to be renowned as a budget that hurt Australia in the years and decades to come.


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