Monday, 2 May 2016
Questions without Notice
I thank Senator Bushby for that question. The answer is: yes, I can. Let me advise Senator Bushby and the Senate first up that the government's economic plan for jobs and growth is working. Despite global economic headwinds, our economy grew by three per cent in the most recently reported 12-month period. That is twice the rate of Canada; that is better than any of the G7 economies; that is better than the OECD average; and it is much better than when we came into government, when the economy was weakening and had grown by just two per cent in the previous 12 months and when the unemployment rate was going up and up and up.
Right now, after two years of coalition government, our employment growth is strong. We would like it to be even stronger. Our unemployment rate is now down to 5.7 per cent. More than 440,000 new jobs have been created during our period in government. These things do not happen by accident. There has been our work on making our tax system more growth friendly, abolishing Labor's mining tax and abolishing Labor's carbon tax in our first budget and on reducing taxes for small business in our second budget, with the next instalment of our efforts to make our tax system more growth friendly to be delivered in this year's budget, tomorrow night. There has been our work to reduce the cost of red tape, left for us from opposition, by Senator Arthur Sinodinos.
Our ambitious infrastructure agenda has been taken to another level with the Prime Minister's Smart Cities program. Our ambitious export agenda is finalising export agreements with key markets in our region—China, Japan, South Korea—and of course there is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. There is our ambitious Innovation and Science Agenda and our ambitious defence industry agenda. There is getting rid of Labor's attack on small business mum-and-dad truckies. And of course we want to do more to keep the economy growing and to ensure that more jobs are being created across Australia, and that is what we are focused on.(Time expired)
The way that our economic plan delivers stronger growth and more jobs is by making sure that our economy is as productive, as competitive internationally and as innovative as possible. Our economic plan is focused on making sure that the Australian economy continues to successfully transition from resource investment and construction driven growth to broader drivers of growth in a strong and diversified economy. That is what we have been focusing on.
The other day I was watching the news, and there was the shadow Treasurer suggesting that it was just a slogan; it was just blah, blah, blah. I have just told you all of the things that we have been doing so far. Of course, we would like to do more. The results are there for all to see. We are growing at twice the rate of Canada—another resource based economy. We are growing more strongly than any of the G7 economies. We are well above the OECD average and certainly growing more strongly than when Labor was in government, when Labor was weighing the Australian economy down with the carbon tax and the mining tax. (Time expired)
Yes, sadly, I am aware of an alternative approach. What I am aware of is that the Labor Party have not learnt anything from their past mistakes. The Labor Party are at it again. They want to tax more; they want to borrow more; they want to spend more. They want to bring back the carbon tax. They want to impose more than $100 billion in new taxes on the Australian economy.
But let me say it very slowly to the Labor Party: you do not grow the economy more strongly by whacking up taxes by $100 billion. You do not increase the level of investment into our economy by coming up with your ill-thought-out attack on Australian mum-and-dad investors investing in property. You do not increase the level of investment and you do not increase growth and create more jobs by bringing back your discredited carbon tax, which would push up the cost of electricity for everyone and just shift emissions overseas and do nothing for the environment.