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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3702

Economy


Mr TIM WILSON (Goldstein) (14:07): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on how the government is building a stronger economy with lower taxes and more jobs for Australian workers? And is he aware of alternative approaches?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:07): I thank the honourable member for his question. The government is committed to ensuring that the Australian economy is strong, because we know that everything depends on a strong economy. It means we can guarantee the essential services Australians rely on. It means we can properly fund our hospitals and our schools with record funding. It means we can guarantee Medicare in legislation and make medicines like Kisqali, a breakthrough breast cancer treatment, more affordable. And I'm pleased to say, on the subject of new medicines, that the government is listing a new medicine a day on the PBS, slashing the price of medicines by thousands of dollars, and that's making a huge difference to Australians in need, and we are able to support them in that way because we have a strong economy. It means we can deliver an ageing package that gives older Australians real choice to stay in their home for longer or go into the workforce. It means we can fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme, cut the cost of child care for mums and dads and properly fund the AFP and the other security agencies so they can keep Australians safe. And it means we can afford to build the congestion-busting infrastructure, the road and the rail, that will ensure that Australians get home to their families safer and sooner.

None of that is possible without a strong economy. It enables all of this and more. A strong economy means that businesses are investing and creating jobs. On that front, we know that last year Australians created more jobs than in any calendar year in our history: 415,000. A thousand jobs a day are being added. That shows what a strong economy delivers. A strong economy means more jobs and it enables us to have lower taxes for Australians. It means that, as the economy continues to strengthen, Australians will benefit from tax relief that prioritises middle- and lower-income earners. From next year a worker on an average income will be $530 a year better off. That's a quarterly electricity bill, the kids' school books, or five or six trips to the petrol station. What that does is give real support to families on middle and lower incomes—real relief, real support for Australian workers. It is their money. They've earned it, and they deserve to keep more of it. Labor will put all of this at risk because, at the end of the day, the Labor Party does not believe that those hard-earned dollars belong to the people that earn them; they believe the government is entitled to them. We don't. They're Australians; they're entitled to keep more of it. (Time expired)