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Thursday, 1 March 2018
Page: 2495

Economy


Mr VAN MANEN (FordeGovernment Whip) (14:04): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on the action the government is taking to create jobs and grow the economy, including for families in my electorate of Forde? Is the Prime Minister aware of any risks to the government's approach?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:05): I thank the honourable member for his question. Our economic plan is working and there are 403,000 jobs last year to demonstrate that it is. We know that if you want to have more jobs you have to provide the incentives for employers to invest and hire. That is exactly what we have done, with lower taxes for small and medium businesses, overwhelmingly Australian owned, overwhelmingly family owned. The businesses that are getting the benefits of those tax reductions employ more than half the workforce. They are not giant businesses. These are businesses with turnovers including, from 1 July, up to $50 million a year. That is where you are seeing the jobs growth. This has created more jobs and better jobs. We are starting to see that growth in real wages, which we need, which will come from a tighter labour market, from more demand for labour. The laws of supply and demand have not been suspended, as the Governor of the Reserve Bank observed just the other day.

The alternative to a government that seeks to do everything it can to encourage investment and employment is, of course, the Labor opposition. They want to impose over $150 billion of new taxes on Australians. They want to increase taxes on businesses, the very businesses that are investing and hiring. They want to increase taxes on family businesses, on individuals. They want to drive up the cost of energy. There is no policy in their platform which would create one dollar of investment or one job. The reality is this: if you want more of something, then you've got to provide some incentives for it. If you want less of something, put a tax on it. That's why we have high taxes on tobacco, because we want less smoking. This is why, if you want to have more investment, you have to lower the tax on investment. Labor wants to increase it. All that will do is result in less investment and fewer jobs.

Of course his failure to support jobs is so amply demonstrated in his utter hypocrisy over the coal industry and the mine workers he was with at Oakey North, where he said, 'I'm with you, I support you.' He stood there with Tony Maher, who said, 'Bill Shorten is pro-coal.' He then went off on a secret snorkelling expedition with Geoff Cousins, paid for by Geoff Cousins, only revealed after Cousins went public, and gave an undertaking to cancel the Adani mine licence, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers he claims to represent.