25 June 2018

Speech: Building a stronger economy

It is a great pleasure to rise and speak on this motion. I want to commend the member for Chisholm for bringing this motion forward to the parliament. She is a wonderful local member. I take note of the member for Parramatta’s comment that the member for Chisholm hasn’t been spending much time in her office. That says everything about Labor you need to know—they are members that sit behind their desks. I tell you where the member for Chisholm has been—not only has she been working hard in her office but, more importantly, she’s been out in the community. She’s been out in the electorate. She’s been talking to her constituents in shopping centres, schools, aged-care homes and every other corner of the electorate, and the message is loud and strong, as it is in the electorate of Corangamite, which I proudly represent: people do not trust Labor. Australians know that they cannot trust Labor. We’ve seen that this party opposite is a party which does not have a plan, a party which intends to hike up taxes by more than $200 billion over 10 years and a party which has now said that it’s going to take $70 billion out of the pockets of ordinary Australians because it’s going to oppose stages 2 and 3 of our income tax cuts.

These are tax cuts that will mean that 94 per cent of Australians will never face a top marginal tax rate of more than 32½ per cent. Labor wants to rip that away. Labor has no plan. What we know from Labor’s opposition to our company tax cuts that we are proposing to bring company tax down to 25 per cent is that Labor wants to send jobs offshore and wants to prop up multinational companies working overseas. It does not want to make us internationally competitive. The regressive, economically destroying policies of Labor will send this nation backwards.

We are incredibly proud that we are delivering tax relief to every working Australian, starting with low- and middle-income earners, where from 1 July we will be providing immediate tax relief of $530 a year. For low- or middle-income parents where both the father and mother are working in a family, that will be over $1,000 of instantaneous tax relief. We’ve also seen the opposition leader has declared war on business, which employs 90 per cent of Australians. We’ve now seen the member for Grayndler call out the opposition leader. He’s embarrassed. We’re now seeing cracks starting to appear in that little leadership tussle, where the member for Grayndler is implicitly condemning the opposition leader’s war on business and his strategy to divide Australia and isolate hardworking Australians.

In not supporting our company tax cuts for all companies and focusing on those with a turnover of more than $50 million, this is not just a war on business that Labor is declaring. It is declaring a war on all Australians who work in all of these businesses. Who are we talking about? We’re talking about shop assistants. We’re talking about those who work in supermarkets. We’re talking about coalmine workers, construction workers, truck drivers, aged-care workers, researchers, scientists, people who work for food processors and the many thousands of people who work in manufacturing. All of these Australians work for companies with more than $50 million in turnover. They are a very important part of the Australian economy and, in attacking those companies, Labor is attacking those workers. It is an absolute disgrace. We’ve seen the member for Grayndler call out the opposition leader on his terrible strategy which not only intends to destroy the economy but, frankly, is soul destroying for all those workers who know how important their jobs are in providing security to their families and children.

So, again, I congratulate the member for Chisholm on this very important motion. Our plan is very strong. We’re bringing the budget back to balance by 2019-20, our net debt will fall by $30 billion over the next four years and our stronger economy and record jobs growth are ensuring that we will be able to deliver the important services that we need, like the NDIS and, of course, our guarantee for Medicare.

25 June 2018