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Thursday, 31 May 2018
Page: 5169


Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (14:15): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer please update the House on recent assessments of the Australian economy. How does the government plan to support a stronger economy over the next decade and how does this compare to previous plans?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:16): I thank again the member for Petrie for his question on the budget. Our budget is a plan for a stronger economy. And I'm pleased that the budget has been so well received as a credible plan, so much so that the opposition has given up asking questions about it. They put up the white flag on the budget some weeks ago.

Mr Keogh interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Burt is now warned!

Mr MORRISON: Our economy is stronger under the Liberal and National parties. As I just said, more than a million jobs have been created since we came to government. In our record year of job growth, more than 1,000 jobs were created every day and 75 per cent of those were full-time jobs. We see today that the non-mining capex figures are up 8.4 per cent for the year. But, importantly, it's another positive quarter of growth in non-mining capital expenditure, and that is the first time we've seen six quarters of consecutive growth in more than 20 years. We have a plan for a stronger economy, and that is driving investment in this economy, which is driving jobs. Australians are confident in the economic plans of the Liberal and National parties, under the Turnbull government, because they are seeing those results. But there is more to come and there is more work to be done, because we want to ensure that those economic benefits stretch right across the whole economy. That's why we must stick to that plan.

Today the OECD has released a report which confirms the strength of the Australian economy. It endorses the forecast that was set out in the budget, referring specifically to the economy growing at a 'robust pace'. It refers to rising household incomes, falling unemployment. It points to 'wage growth picking up'. It also makes reference to the fact that public debt will be falling. It finds that a strong economy, expenditure control and revenue integrity measures are helping to deliver the commitment for deficit reduction.

That is a pretty strong endorsement from the OECD about the strong economic management of the Turnbull government and the strong performance of the Australian economy. But it wasn't always that way, because when we came to government we had to deal with the economic and fiscal catastrophe that was left to us by those who sit on that side of the House now. For the sake of the Australian economy they need to stay on that side of the House, because when we came to government we had to wrestle debt growth running at 30 per cent. There was a gorilla of debt running under them, and we had to wrestle that gorilla to the ground, which is what we've done, because under this budget debt falls by $30 billion over the next four years and it falls by $230 billion over the next 10 years. This government has turned that around. We've ensured that we've put Australia on a firm fiscal footing, confirmed by the OECD today. The Labor Party cannot live within their means. That's why they cannot be trusted to achieve these outcomes for the Australian economy, which have been recognised. (Time expired)