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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 145

Economy


Ms HENDERSON (Corangamite) (14:09): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline the state of the economy the coalition government inherited? Can the Treasurer outline how responsible and prudent government will encourage growth, therefore assisting the constituents of Corangamite?


Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (14:09): What an outstanding new member for Corangamite! I suspect she will be the best member for Corangamite in at least seven years! She is also someone who is deeply concerned about the fate of the people of Corangamite and their jobs—unlike the previous Labor member.

Of course, we did inherit an economy that has been heading in the wrong direction. Economic growth has been below trend, unemployment has been rising, the terms of trade have been coming down, and we inherited a budget that is in a complete mess. Only a few months ago the member for Lilley stood at this dispatch box and said, 'Don't worry; we're going to have an $18 billion deficit this year.' Then, a few weeks later, along comes the member for McMahon and says, 'Don't worry; we're going to have a budget deficit of $30 billion this year.' It seems to be an odd and rather eerie consistency from Labor that they always underpromised and overdelivered when it came to deficits and debt.

But I would say to the Australian people: there is a better way. The member for Corangamite knows this, and the Australian people recognise that there is a better way. Today Westpac Institutional Bank released their consumer sentiment indicator, which illustrated that it is at the highest reads since the December period in 2010. We welcome that. We think it is hugely important. And that is on the back of a Dun & Bradstreet business expectation survey for November that shows company profit expectations have reached a 10-year high. We see that as a good thing. And the NAB business survey for October shows that business confidence remains higher than over the previous three years. And retail spending in September was better than expected, with a rise of 0.8 per cent. We see that as a good thing, because Australian consumers and Australian businesses know that, under the coalition, there is a plan for a stronger economy. And that involves getting rid of the carbon tax, getting rid of the mining tax, getting rid of the CEFC and dealing with the mess that we inherited—and, Lord knows, we inherited a mess.

Prime Minister, colleagues: the Labor Party are like a really bad tenant—they trash the joint and now they are trying to stop us repairing the house. Enough is enough. The Australian people know that we will deliver better, that we will deliver a stronger economy. The bottom line is that Labor have got to get on track, back our changes, get rid of the taxes and help us to fix their mess.