Tuesday, 14 August 2018
Questions without Notice
Opposition senators interjecting—
My question was to the Minister for Jobs and Innovation. I ask the minister: following upon her success and the success of her government in creating some 400,000 new jobs last year, could the minister advise how the Turnbull government's tax cuts are helping small and medium-sized businesses to deliver jobs for more Australians?
I thank Senator Macdonald for the question. On this side of the chamber, we know that small and medium businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy. What do they do for us? They create jobs, they grow our economy and they provide valuable goods and services to the Australian community. In Australia, we have approximately 3.3 million small and medium businesses. Those small and medium businesses employ approximately 6.8 million Australians. So what do they do? They give Australians jobs. On this side of the chamber, we know that you need to do everything that you can to ensure that small and medium businesses in Australia have the opportunity to prosper and grow and ultimately to create more jobs for Australians.
But how do you do this? On this side of the chamber, we know you need to put in place the right policy framework, and that is exactly what we have been doing. We know that, by reducing company taxes, businesses are actually investing back into their businesses, into their premises, expanding their facilities and, ultimately, more jobs for Australians. It's no accident that employment is at a record high in Australia. It is no accident that we have seen more than one million jobs created since the coalition was elected to government in 2013. This is because we've put in place the right policy framework.
I was recently in Queensland in the seat of Petrie and I visited Michael Kennedy from Kennedy's Timbers. He has a new machine there and, colleagues, he calls it 'the tax-cut machine' because he was able to invest the money that he received by way of the government's tax cuts back into his business and upgrade his machinery. That's what we on this side of the chamber are all about.
I thank the minister for that answer. I ask the minister further: how does having a strong economy and providing tax relief for Australian businesses contribute to the nation's jobs growth?
Ultimately, it is all about growing our businesses and creating jobs: jobs and growth. This is what happens when you have a government that understands you need to put in place the right policy framework to incentivise businesses to prosper and grow. We on this side of the chamber will continue to back policies that do just this.
Why are we opening up export opportunities for our businesses through free trade agreements? Because we want to create more job opportunities for Australians. Why are we investing in our nation's transport infrastructure? It benefits local communities and, ultimately, it creates more jobs for Australians. Why are we investing in our defence community? Why are we investing in science and innovation? Because we know that, when you make these investments, businesses are able to grow and, ultimately, you create more jobs for Australians. That is what the Turnbull government and members of this government are committed to.
Those on the other side are actually quite proud of the fact that, if they were ever elected to office, they would openly embrace a war on business. Those opposite—Mr Bill Shorten and Labor—are the greatest risk to job creation in this country. A business that has to close employs no-one. That is a tragedy for the business itself, but it's also a tragedy for the workers who no longer have jobs. Yet, what have Labor promised they will do if they are elected to office? They have openly said they will raise taxes on Australian businesses. Do you know what happens when you raise taxes on Australian businesses? They ultimately have to close down their operations. Small and medium businesses can't cope with this additional burden. But Labor have also said they'll raise taxes on Australian people. How could you go to an election saying you are the side of politics that openly believes in job-destroying policies? (Time expired)