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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 79


Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (14:54): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer please update the House on the green shoots in the Australian economy over recent months? How will the government's policies help build a stronger, more prosperous economy with stronger growth and with more jobs?

Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (14:54): That is a great question because it addresses the issues at the heart of the nation's thinking, and that is: how do we create more jobs and greater prosperity for everyday Australians? Despite inheriting a bit of a mess from the Labor Party, we have got on with the job of fixing the economy and fixing the budget. The challenge at the moment with the budget is that the government every day is spending $100 million more than it receives. So we are spending $100 million a day more than we collect in taxation revenue. As anyone involved in business knows—

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield!

Mr HOCKEY: and I note that the honourable member for Petrie was involved in small business—you cannot continue to write out cheques for more money than you collect. Every single day when we have to write out a cheque for $100 million more than we collect, in day-to-day expenditure on health and education and welfare and all the other things government do, we have to make a borrowing of $100 million to make the difference, and at the moment we are spending $40 million a day on interest repayments on the debt that was left by Labor and the debt we continue to accrue. Despite all of that, over the last 12 months we have seen job growth in Australia grow at three times the amount of jobs each day that occurred under Labor. In fact, under us last year, 600 new jobs were created every day—

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield, one more time and you are out!

Mr HOCKEY: compared to 200 jobs a day under Labor. There are good green shoots before us. Job advertisement levels, as measured by the ANZ, are, as of today, at the highest level in over two years. Job ads are growing at 13.6 per cent over the year. That means more jobs for everyday Australians. Importantly, the Dun and Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey, which was released last week, identified that the outlook on employment is the most positive it has been in over a decade. So job ads—opportunities for jobs and growth—coming out at the moment, from Dun and Bradstreet, from ANZ and from a range of other surveys, indicate that the economy is strengthening. Despite all of that, the Labor Party unfortunately continues to oppose everything we do to try and create more jobs and greater prosperity for the Australian people. I would say to the Australian Labor Party: the best thing that the Labor Party can do for jobs is get out of the way.