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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4361


Ms STANLEY (Werriwa) (15:44): When it comes to the budget and the economy the government has a one-point plan. The problem with a one-point plan is that there is a real world that exists outside of this chamber. The real world can be unpredictable and it can be a victim to unexpected events. So when point 1 of your one-point plan falls over, what happens next? Well, here's another fact in the real world. In the real world, trickle-down economics is a fringe discredited theory. It doesn't work. Whenever and wherever it's been tried, it hasn't worked. But the real worth isn't a place this government seems very good at inhabiting. They steadfastly are hanging on to a tax cut for the big end of town. How much will it cost? Is it $80 billion or is it more? How much will the big banks get? Is it $17 billion or is it more? Banks' behaviour uncovered at the royal commission over the last month shows that they don't deserve a handout from the Australian people; they deserve other things.

The Turnbull government's $80 billion company tax cut is the single biggest hit to the budget that either party is putting forward. And now we hear that One Nation will no longer support these tax cuts. We hear that the Treasurer and Senator Cormann's secret deal with Pauline Hanson's One Nation is in tatters. So what's the plan now? Why has Senator Hanson pulled her support? We heard the senator on Sydney radio yesterday arguing that we've got to rein in this spiralling out-of-control debt—not something we've heard for the last five years. Obviously no-one from the government has bothered to tell her that we're also supposed to forget the debt and deficit disaster. Apparently this wasn't one of the conditions of her secret deal with the government. Remember, the debt and deficit disaster, that budget emergency? It's been abandoned, completely forgotten. But obviously no-one thought to tell Senator Hanson and One Nation.

While those opposite appear to have suffered collective amnesia about what debt and deficit is, here are some facts for you. Gross debt has crashed through the half a trillion dollar mark for the first time in Australia's history and remains above that mark every year for the next decade. Net debt for the coming year is double what it was when the Liberals came to office. The deficit for this year is over six times larger compared to what they forecast in the 2014 budget.

If Senator Hanson and One Nation want to grow the economy, they should have a look at the plan from this side of the House—a plan that passes the fairness test, unlike the government's one-point plan; a plan that doesn't spend $80 billion on the top end of town while everybody else is hurting; a plan that restores $17 billion to schools, commits to fund TAFE, looks after our young and addresses waiting lists in public hospitals. Contrast this to the government's plan. It makes cuts to the pensioner energy supplement and forces people to work until they're 70. People who have worked with their hands, such as builders labourers, can't do that until they're 70. It hits workers in the retail, food and accommodation industries for $77 a week in lost penalty rates. It fails to deal with cost-of-living pressures, which means families and pensioners are paying $20 more for private health insurance and young families in my electorate are paying up to $40 a week more in childcare fees. That is something they can't afford, with electricity prices going up and the cost of transport just to get to their jobs. It is a plan that continues the Medicare freeze, so people in my electorate are $9 out of pocket every time they visit a doctor. Put simply, this is a failure of an economic plan and Australia deserves better.