Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Questions without Notice
Thank you to Senator Colbeck for the question. Last night Australians saw our Treasurer set out our government's plan for a stronger economy, and this of course includes backing business to invest more—of course, ultimately, to create more jobs. Last year, 2017, saw the strongest year of jobs growth on record. In excess of 415,000 more jobs were created and, colleagues, three-quarters of those jobs were full-time jobs. In the last 12 months of the former Labor government, do you know what happened to full-time jobs? The economy actually shed around 17,000 full-time jobs. Sixteen consecutive months of jobs growth is the longest Australia has ever seen on record. Under this government, in excess of a thousand jobs are being created per day. In fact, as a result of our record on jobs growth, the proportion of working-age Australians now dependent on welfare has fallen—that's right—to the lowest level in 25 years. On this side of the chamber, we will never shy away from the fact that the best form of welfare is a job. How are we doing it? We are putting in place the right economic framework that backs business. How are we doing that? We are legislating tax cuts for all businesses, prioritising small and medium businesses first. We are delivering infrastructure that supports industries and jobs. Why? It's because on this side of the chamber we know a stronger economy means more business investment and the creation of more jobs.
Last night, the Treasurer built on our record of helping Australians get off welfare and into work. Last night, the Treasurer recognised that there are certain Australians out there who will need additional assistance to gain new employment or to stay in the workforce. These are, of course, mature-age employees. Mature-age workers, as we know, bring a wealth of experience to employers, but we also know they may actually struggle to find work, particularly when they are in industries that are in transition. Last night, the Treasurer outlined that the Turnbull government will invest almost $190 million on a range of jobs and skills measures to help our mature-age Australians find the right job, stay in the workforce, have the flexibility they require later in their working life and, of course, retire with security.
I don't think it would be news to anybody on this side of the chamber that those on the opposite side of the chamber do not have a single plan to create a single job. The fundamental difference between those on that side of the chamber and those of us on this side of the chamber is that we believe the best form of welfare is a job. As our leader in the Senate, Senator Cormann, has already articulated, what would a Shorten Labor government do? Mr Shorten and Labor actually want to increase taxes on Australians. That's right—those opposite want to increase taxes by more than $200 billion. It doesn't stop there. They want to impose new and increased taxes on electricity, small and family businesses, incomes, housing, investment and retirees. What does that mean for the Australian people? It means that under Labor they would pay more and their jobs would be at risk.
Senator Cameron interjecting—
Senator O'Sullivan interjecting—
Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting—