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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Page: 2148

Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (22:22): I would like to raise three issues tonight. Firstly, if anyone is looking for another example of how we are being led by the most incompetent government in our nation's history, they need look no further than a recent Dun and Bradstreet analysis, which revealed last week, in the middle of Labor's civil war, that there had been an incredible 95 per cent drop in small business start-ups over the last 12 months. The survey stated:

Start-ups fell across sectors, particularly among construction, finance, manufacturing and services firms where a near 100 per cent drop in new business was recorded year on year.

This figure means that, in the last 12 months, Australians have simply given up on the idea of starting a small business under this Labor government. The year 2011 will go down in history as the year that Labor killed off entrepreneurship in this country. It means that hope, reward and opportunity no longer exist in Australia for those wishing to start their own small business because it has been crushed by the policies of this Labor government, a government that treats small business with contempt.

We cannot underestimate how damaging a 95 per cent drop in small business start-ups over the last 12 months has been to our nation's future economic prosperity. It is small business start-ups that drive our nation's productivity and innovation, and it is small business start-ups that generate real new jobs. With the policy of this government being to attack small business, resulting in this incredible 95 per cent drop in small business start-ups, is it any wonder that for the first time in two decades we have had negative jobs growth? Is it any wonder that our nation's productivity growth has stalled?

The connection between small business start-ups and job creation and productivity growth in our economy should be well understood by everyone, but clearly this message has not sunk in to those on the other side. Just look at the ongoing farce of Labor's small business ministers, with the last one lasting in the job for only 76 days, 22 of which were weekends and five of which were public holidays. At least he did not have the time to stuff things up any more than they already are. And we have seen the Prime Minister's attitude to small business. She does not even think it is worthy of a seat in her cabinet.

Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to expose the misleading conduct this government has engaged in against the most vulnerable members of our society—our disabled and their carers. This government promised them an NDIS when it knows it has not allocated one single cent of new money to fund the $6 billion required. Unfortunately this shameful misleading conduct by the Labor government towards the most vulnerable members of our society is nothing new. Last week John Mendoza, former chairman of the National Advisory Council on Mental Health, said he and many others were 'led up the garden path' by this government in terms of acting on mental health. And this government is doing it again by shamefully promising to deliver an NDIS when they have not got a clue where they are going to find the funds to pay for it.

It should also be noted that because of the government's reckless spending, because of their palpable waste—which I would need all night to detail—they have run up a bill which is north of $100 billion on our national credit card. The interest payments alone will require a future government to find at least $6.8 billion year after year after year until we start to pay down their debt. But for this government's waste and reckless spending, we would have the funds to pay for an NDIS now.

Finally, I would like to comment on the cooking of the books by this government. The public should be aware of how this government is cooking the books to create the impression of a phoney budget surplus by 2012-13 with their carbon tax legislation. Overall, the carbon tax legislation adds $4.4 billion to our budget deficit over three years. So this mob add a new tax, cripple industry by driving up their costs and add to electricity prices, but, at the end of the day, they still need to borrow another $4.4 billion. That shows the economic incompetence of this government.

But somehow, for the coming financial year of 2012-13, despite the $4.4 billion hole, the carbon tax actually gives this government $1 billion, without which there would be no surplus in 2012-13. They only do this by an accounting trick—by doling out $3 billion in compensation in the last six weeks of this financial year. What a sham! It is typical of this government's misleading conduct. (Time expired)