Economic management in Australia

15 Aug 2017 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby) (16:18): There seems to be a lack of conviction from those opposite on this topic today. We know that their record on economic management of this nation is truly appalling, so it's really not surprising that their hearts are not quite in this issue today. During Labor's six terrible years in office they, effectively, destroyed our economy. Under the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments, and I note there are a number of MPs in this parliament who served in senior positions in those governments, they left our nation and future generations with debt unlike anything we have seen before in Australia. There was something in the order of $277 billion, although John Howard and Peter Costello left them with $50 billion in the bank in 2007—that is responsible government.

It's impossible to list all of Labor's failed policies, but I will list a few to remind people of the waste of money that occurred under the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments. There were the pink batts; the cash for clunkers; the green loans scheme; unfunded policies like the NDIS; the National Broadband Network; and the mining tax, which destroyed jobs and industry confidence but, happily, was repealed by us when we got back into government. There was also the carbon tax, which did more to harm businesses and, again, jobs than many of their other policies, and it also pushed household power prices up. There were the school halls and having to build detention centres, because Labor lost control of our borders and drowned 1,200 people at sea—which is the most disgraceful thing that they did during their time in government. They had to build a number of detention centres. Billions upon
billions of taxpayers' dollars were wasted trying to get back the control of our borders.

If the Labor Party ever make it back into government again, we won't just see debt and incompetence from them; we will see a government controlled by union thugs. We will see a raft of policies that will cripple our economy and undo our good work. We know that Labor is planning to introduce $150 billion worth of taxes—that's what a Labor government would deliver to the Australian people. A Shorten Labor government would mean economic destruction for our nation, and this will hurt our businesses. It will hurt hardworking Australians.

It will hurt families. Let's take a quick look: increasing taxes on small businesses and failing to implement the remainder of our enterprise tax plan—$65 million; scrapping negative gearing—$32 billion; increasing capital gains tax—$13 billion; family trusts tax—$15 billion; increasing income taxes—$22 billion; and secret superannuation taxes —$20 billion. This is what a Labor government would deliver, and we cannot do that to the Australian people— to hardworking Australians and to our businesses who keep this nation going and growing. It seems that Labor want to prevent Australian businesses from employing Australians. They want to stall economic growth and opportunity. They want to stop hardworking Australians from getting ahead—from providing for their families and from being able to afford to give back to their community, which is the very thing that keeps our nation
and our social fabric strong.

In comparison, we are leading the way on economic management, and we have a very proud record. We have a great record on reducing Labor's unprecedented debt, delivering Liberal reforms to help small businesses, and producing good public policy designed to stimulate the economy and to create the jobs that hardworking Australians need. Let's look at how many jobs we've created—700,000 jobs since we came to government. Over 240,000 jobs were created in the 2016-17 financial year, and almost 75 per cent of these were full-time. So not only are we working hard on economic reform, but we are dealing with the underemployment crisis that the Labor Party left us with.

We're doing a number of things for small business tax reform, including cutting taxes for small and medium businesses, increasing the tax discount rate for unincorporated businesses, and increasing the small business annual turnover threshold for both incorporated and unincorporated businesses to $10 million, amongst many other things.