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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 28

Mr TURNBULL (4:01 PM) —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to his statement a little while ago where he said that Treasury estimates the $42 billion claim he has announced today will support up to 90,000 jobs in both 2008-09 and 2009-10. That works out at $233,000 per job per year, and I ask the Prime Minister whether he believes there are any alternative policies, or if he has considered any alternative policies, which would create more jobs for the $42 billion or indeed policies that would create the same number of jobs at a lower cost to the budget?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —In developing its response to the global financial crisis and the unfolding global economic recession, the government has continued to examine the full range of options as to what provides the best basis for stimulus in the economy to continue to support positive growth and therefore to support jobs. What we have concluded through those deliberations is that the one measure which the opposition advocates—that is, to bring forward generic tax cuts or, depending on the day of the week you are talking about, to initiate a new set of generic tax cuts—would simply not work in delivering the employment impact which we all desire to see in this country.

In fact, if we look specifically at the measure which has been advocated by those opposite, which is either a new set of tax cuts or bringing forward an existing set of generic tax cuts, we have been guided entirely by the overwhelming body of evidence which suggests that in fact it is through investment in infrastructure, short- and long-term; measures to support consumption; and, critically, investments to support the stability of private credit markets to ensure the flow-through of credit to the private economy which are most effective in supporting activity through these extraordinary times.

I would say to the Leader of the Opposition that we have been careful and deliberative in examining all these matters. We are acutely conscious of what is bearing down on Australia from the global economic crisis and the global recession over the next year or so. As a consequence, we have embraced the set of measures which are outlined in today’s document. We are confident this forms a core and continuing part of the strategy we embarked upon at the end of last year—a strategy which will see Australia through this crisis. I commend it again to the opposition for their support.