28 February 2018

Speech: Turnbull Government’s record jobs growth

I’m not going to try to deal with the nonsensical contribution from the member for Lindsay. She talked about us trying to crash the industrial relations system in this country and yet, as the Leader of the Opposition has made clear, that is his absolute intention. What’s quite confusing about this MPI—the government prioritising big business over ordinary Australians—I don’t think members opposite realise this, but big business employs half of all ordinary Australians. Big business employs millions of Australians. In deserting big business, in saying to businesses across Australia, whether they be small, medium, family or large, as the Leader of the Opposition has said, ‘We are going to create a war on business. Business is going to get nothing from us.’ In saying that, Labor is sending a very strong message.

It’s sending a message to the workers in the steel manufacturing companies, the mines, Bunnings and Qantas that they don’t matter. That is the bottom line with this opposition.

Half of all Australians work for large Australian companies. Ninety per cent of workers in this country work for private companies. This opposition is so dangerous in its loony left policies that it is willing and advocating to drive up the minimum wage by 30 per cent, which even it knows will destroy thousands of jobs across this country. Frankly, it is an embarrassment. The member for Rankin is sitting there, after promising and writing all the member for Lilley’s speech notes, promising four surpluses that never actually occurred, and he’s sniggering.

We have committed, as confirmed by the Parliamentary Budget Office, that we will be in surplus by 2021. We are on track to deliver that. We are actually going to have our company tax cuts paid as part of our budget forecasts. Frankly, the member for Rankin sitting there sniggering really just shows the embarrassment of what his contribution has been when the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government was in power.

I do feel for the shadow Treasurer, the member for McMahon, who has been completely rolled by the left of the Labor Party, by the Jeremy-Bernie-loony-left economics of Labor. The great economic messiah of the Labor Party, who talked about company tax cuts, who talked about the importance of what that would do for jobs and investment and growth and business confidence, that was backed by the Leader of the Opposition, has been rolled by the member for Sydney.

The loony left of the Labor Party is coming at him in force and the member for McMahon is slinking around the boardrooms of Australia saying, ‘Don’t worry, fellas, we will deliver the company tax cuts. Just stay quiet. I know and you know that we need these company tax cuts for Australia, but we just have to run our agenda to get into power, then everything will change.’ It is absolute hypocrisy. As the member for Reid has said in this debate, it’s quite clear that the shadow Treasurer, here in the House, does not believe a word he has spoken.

We need company tax cuts to make us internationally competitive. The Treasury modelling has shown this will add $30 billion in additional revenue and increase our GDP by 1 per cent. As the Governor of the Reserve Bank said in the public hearing before the House Economics Committee that I proudly chair, ‘The worst thing we can possibly do is rack up more debt and deficit.’ That’s what the Labor Party’s agenda is: more debt and deficit. They went to the last election with $16 billion more deficit to contribute to the economy. As the Governor of the Reserve Bank also said, ‘The best way to combat inequality is to deliver jobs.’

We are delivering jobs in spades: 403,000 more jobs in the last year, the best jobs growth on record. That is 1,100 jobs a day. Already we are seeing in some sectors of the economy a tightening of the labour market, which the Governor of the Reserve Bank has identified quite clearly and objectively. In contrast to the loony left policies of Labor, we are delivering for jobs and for the economy.