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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2263


Mr IRONS (Swan) (14:05): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on how the government is creating jobs and opportunities for hardworking Australians by growing the economy? Is the Prime Minister aware of any alternative approaches?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:05): I thank the honourable member for his question. There were 403,000 jobs created last year, the largest number in our history. There were 16 consecutive months of jobs growth, the longest run of jobs growth ever recorded. But we want to create more jobs and more better paid jobs, and we want to get more Australians into work, especially those who are unemployed. Those of us on this side of the House know that the best form of welfare is a job. Members opposite may disagree, but we believe every Australian should have the opportunity to experience the dignity and stability of a job. We believe every Australian should have that opportunity, and that's why our growth plan and our economic plan are pro-growth, pro-investment and pro-jobs. And it's working. Not only have we had record jobs growth; there are now fewer Australians on welfare than at any time in the last 20 years. That's because of initiatives like our PaTH program for young people, lower business taxes, our Wage Subsidy Scheme, and just getting the long-term unemployed back into work.

This morning I visited Total Insulation, a local business here in Canberra, where I met Shannon Fairbanks, the one-hundred-thousandth Australian to be employed with the help of our Wage Subsidy Scheme. Shannon told us he had been unemployed for three years, but now, thanks to this program, this incentive, and the commitment of his employer, he is building the skills, confidence and experience that set him up for success.

But what's Labor's plan? What's Labor's plan for jobs? They have none. All they want to deliver are higher taxes and more regulation. They want to raise taxes by more than $150 billion. That's the equivalent of $6,000 for every Australian. Yet, at the same time, he says he cares about jobs and the economy, just like he told the workers at Oaky that they had no better friend than him and he would always do the right thing by them. There was Bill—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will refer to members by their correct titles.

Mr TURNBULL: I'm corrected. I'm talking about his GQ article. He was spewing at Oaky North, and he is using the f-word in the GQ interview. Then he complains that he doesn't think that Lucy and I will invite him for dinner. Well, as long as he promises not to do that again, we wouldn't have any objection.