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Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7858

Mr PERRETT (MoretonOpposition Whip) (12:49): It's great to follow my good friend the member for Oxley on this motion put forward by the member for Brisbane. Normally I'd be following the fourth speaker from the government side, but they couldn't find a fourth speaker to support the notion that Prime Minister Turnbull's government is 'supporting working people and providing the economic leadership our country needs.' They're in government and they couldn't find a fourth speaker to support the current Prime Minister. That's very disconcerting. Obviously, they're off doing their numbers.

This is a motion put forward by the current member for Dixon's former chief of staff, I think. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but things have just snowballed. We've got a strange set of circumstances where people are doing the numbers on the current Prime Minister. Obviously, the reality is: you would not put this lot in charge of your goldfish. It is unbelievable. We've got a government that comes in here trying to do self-praise and it can't even organise a pat on the back. It can't line up four speakers to back in this motion. Why? Because we have a government that could not care less about hardworking Australians, especially the middle and working class. We see this time and time again.

Let's go through what those opposite have trotted out as they're about to commence their sixth year in government. We've got a government that's been bending over backwards to give the big banks $17 billion while cutting money from local schools and hospitals. They've been sitting idle while the penalty rates of 700,000 Australians have been slashed, and we've seen the Prime Minister washing his hands like Judas Iscariot, saying, 'This has got nothing to do with me.' We've seen the Prime Minister and the coalition, for 600 days, rejecting Labor's call for a royal commission into the banking and financial sector, rejecting the pleas of hardworking families and, most importantly, Australian small businesses that have been hammered by this sector. Before the mid-year break, with the willing support of Senator Hanson and the One Nation political party, we saw the coalition give itself a huge personal tax cut, with 80 per cent of all of those benefits going to the top 20 per cent of income earners. That's a shameful figure and an un-Australian figure, I would suggest. How unfair is that! It shows that those opposite are out of touch. They're just three examples. There are many, many more.

These are some key statistics to consider when it comes to Australian workers, sadly not mentioned by the member for Brisbane in his speech. He sees fit to come in here and offer self-congratulation without offering any concern for workers and their families. I listened to all of the speeches of those opposite, and there was no mention at all of flat wages, even though we had more wage increases under Labor in one year than we've had in five years under those opposite. I guess this is what happens when you bring in the former CEO of the National Retail Association, someone who doesn't get what it's like to be an employee or a working-class or a middle-class Australian. In September 2013, when this lot came to government, there were 702,300 people unemployed. As of June 2018, there are now 719,000 people unemployed. That's 16,700 more people unemployed. We have record underemployment—people who are actively looking for more work but can't find it. We have record low wage growth, something not touched on by any of those opposite. We have 40 per cent of workers now in insecure work—contract, casualised or labour hire. For young Australians under 25, it's actually over 50 per cent. That makes it difficult for them to ever get ahead or to even get started.

Labor offers a far more comprehensive vision of support for working Australians in our economy. Let's now look at Labor's vision for personal income tax rates. We are proposing a bigger, better and fairer tax cut. Should we win the election, everyone earning less than $125,000 will receive a bigger tax cut under Labor's plan. For many of those people, the tax cuts are almost double those being proposed by the Dutton government. I beg your pardon—the Turnbull government. To help show the benefit of Labor's plan to working Australians, we've had an online calculator tool running for a few months at Check it out. Do some calculations using your own individual circumstances and you'll see. For example, a teacher on $70,000 a year would receive a tax cut of $982 under Labor. NATSEM modelling shows that Labor's plan is much better. Those opposite are proposing something that is un-Australian. (Time expired)

Debate adjourned.

Sitting suspended from 12:54 to 16:00