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Monday, 22 October 2018
Page: 10682

Mr DRUM (MurrayNationals Whip) (18:29): I would like to be able to believe the opposition when it comes to talking about a plan for our financial future, but the problem is that I can't believe them, because time and time again we are left with the reality that Labor cannot manage money. They just cannot manage money. They can spend money brilliantly—they are rolled gold medallists when it comes to spending money—but they cannot manage money. Like all of us that have a credit card that's getting out of control, at some stage we have to stop the spending, put a little bit back on it and somehow or another pay it back. It's a little concept that the Labor Party haven't quite picked up in the 80-plus years they have been operating. Time and time again, whether it be the Victorian government or the federal government, the Labor Party are brilliant at spending and getting into debt, and when they lose elections and hand over, the coalition tries to fix it all up. That's what we have here.

We had profits and surpluses under Prime Minister Howard and Treasurer Costello. Within a very short time Prime Minister Rudd started the spending, and it didn't abate. The situation financially when we came to government under Tony Abbott was that the nation each and every day was spending $100 million more than it was making: $100 million yesterday, $100 million today, $100 million tomorrow; $100 million too much in spending. They maintained that for the six years of their own government. Whether it was Rudd, Gillard or Rudd, they kept spending $100 million a day more than they were making. Then they ladled the nation with some fantastic programs. The NDIS was a fantastic program, but they didn't fund it. The Labor Party announced this great reform, one of the greatest reforms this nation has ever had, but they didn't fund it. They announced billions of dollars for Gonski, a fantastic program to spend more on better education, but they refused to fund it.

It has taken five years of a coalition government to gradually control spending and bring it back in line so that, if we go to an election in May next year, $100 million of losses each and every day will now be a very small surplus. For that the coalition government should be very proud. At the same time as bringing the books of this nation back in to surplus, we also have the lowest unemployment rate since 2011. We have created more than one million jobs: 1,150,000 jobs, 80 per cent of them full-time. The Labor Party would have you believe that we woke up one day and all of a sudden these amazing feats of running the economy happened upon us by chance. They don't understand the discipline it takes to invest in small family businesses to give them the confidence with the tax cuts they need and the instant asset write-off, one of the most practical measures to enable all those small- and medium-sized businesses to invest up to $20,000 in their business and write that asset off over the first 12 months.

All of our policies are based on enabling Australians to keep more of the money they earn. If they're going to be good enough to drive this country forward by getting out of bed and running their own business or working in someone else's, we as a coalition want you to keep as much of that money that you earn for yourself. We understand that the Labor Party want to inflict another $200 billion to $250 billion in additional taxes on the Australian people. They're very clear about that and are not trying to hide it. They think that will all come out of big business and that big business will still keep employing people. You cannot go after certain sections. You cannot go after the retirees with their retiree tax, otherwise they will be in the same position they were in last time where they didn't have enough money to put more and more drugs on the PBS, making more Australians go without the essential medicines they need for their health.