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Thursday, 1 August 2019
Page: 1831

Budget


Dr ALLEN (Higgins) (14:29): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House how the Morrison government is on the side of Australians who quietly chose sound budget management as a key priority for Australia's future? Is the Treasurer aware of any alternative policies?

Mr Husic interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Chifley! It's always at about this time in question time that he's warned!



Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongThe Treasurer) (14:30): I thank the member for Higgins for her question. She brings to this place an enormous amount of experience in the medical research field and as a leading paediatrician. She'll be a fantastic representative for Higgins.

The member for Higgins knows, and we on this side of the House know, that we are backing Australians who want a stronger economy. We're backing Australians who chose at the last election responsible financial management and lower taxes. We have an economy which is in its 28th consecutive year of economic growth, a AAA credit rating from the three leading credit-rating agencies, more than 1.4 million new jobs that have been created on our watch and a budget that is coming back into surplus. It's a budget that's coming back to surplus because we have a record number of Australians in a job, because the proportion of working-age Australians on welfare is at its lowest level in 30 years and because we have targeted spending.

We know that when we came to government we inherited $240 billion of accumulated deficits from those opposite. And, instead of them missing their final budget outcomes, in 2016-17 we delivered a final budget outcome that was around $4 billion better than forecast. In 2017-18 it was around $20 billion better than forecast, and in 2018-19 I'm confident that we will also outperform our budget forecast.

But I was asked if there are any alternative approaches. We know that those opposite talk down the Australian economy. We know that just months ago they took to the Australian people a plan for $387 billion of higher taxes. And we know that when they were last in government they announced invisible surpluses that were never delivered. Who did that? Euromoney Treasurer of the Year the former member for Lilley did that—the former member for Lilley, with his carbon tax and his mining tax. But maybe we were too harsh on the former member for Lilley, because do you know who his former chief of staff was, Mr Speaker? Do you know who was pulling the strings? Sir Taxalot!

The SPEAKER: I'm going to say to the Treasurer that I know he has used that term a couple of times, and the fault for that lies with me. We are not going to return to unparliamentary language or not referring to members by their correct titles.

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my right, I think the Treasurer wants to get back to his answer when he can. He needs to withdraw, and I'm not going to allow that situation to continue. Government ministers certainly won't like it if there is return fire, if I can put it that way.

Mr FRYDENBERG: Okay, Mr Speaker, I withdraw. But I make the point that the member for Rankin was the co-architect of $387 billion of higher taxes. There he was, with the silent member for McMahon and a retirees' tax, a superannuation tax, new taxes on family businesses and new taxes on hardworking Australians. We know on this side of the House that we always stand for lower taxes.