PMB - The Economy

The Government's Economic Management 


The motion that I move today notes that the Albanese government's economic management has, among other things, delivered the first budget surplus in 15 years, something the former Liberal and National government promised but never delivered, and we have done so at a time when we know that Australian families, Australian consumers and the Australian public are doing it tough. They are doing it tough with the cost-of-living issues that are impacting every family across the country, and that's why, with a budget surplus in our first budget, there's a level of trust among the community—certainly in my community of Lalor—in this government and its economic management. They have seen us not just deliver that surplus but also deliver back to Australians in our cost-of-living relief, though energy bill relief, cheaper medicines, cheaper child care, the strengthening of Medicare, higher income support payments and the biggest boost to rent assistance in 30 years.

As well as that, we are delivering Labor's cost-of-living tax cuts, which are incredibly important. These tax cuts will make a real difference for 13.6 million taxpayers who'll receive a tax cut—2.9 million more than would have benefited from Scott Morrison's plan from five years ago. It means 11.5 million taxpayers, 84 per cent, will receive a bigger tax cut. It means that 5.8 million women—that's 90 per cent of women taxpayers—will now receive a bigger tax cut. Nurses, teachers and truckies are some of the most likely to benefit, with more than 95 per cent of those taxpayers getting a bigger tax cut. Parents, particularly women with young children, will be meaningfully supported to return to work under the government's changes, through increases to their take-home pay. Under the proposed changes, taxpayers earning less than $45,000 will now receive a tax cut. For a family on an average household income of around $130,000 a year, with one partner earning $80,000 and the other earning $50,000, their combined tax cut will be over $2,600—about $50 a week. That will help those families with the cost of living.

The government's changes deliver a better and more progressive tax system as well. The plan returns bracket creep for taxpayers and does more to reduce the impact on those most burdened by it. By dropping two tax rates and lifting two thresholds, we're giving everyone a tax cut, providing $359 billion in help with the cost of living and returning bracket creep where we can do the most work, in Middle Australia. As a result, the average taxpayer will pay $21,635 less of their income in tax over the next decade. And that's not all this government has done.

This government has also got wages moving. We said we'd get wages moving and we have. Real wage growth is back, and ahead of schedule. The Albanese government wants people to earn more and keep more of what they earn. We've highlighted time and time again what that means for communities. In communities like mine, there are families right now who have benefitted from the 15 per cent pay rise for workers in aged care, and there are families who now look forward to a tax cut to go with that 15 per cent pay rise. So lifting wages, reducing taxes, earning more and keeping more of what you earn—that's what this government's economic management is delivering.

And we have done that on top of the individual things around electricity bill relief. We all remember, after we were first elected, coming back for that December sitting to have the opposition vote against the measures that were going to make a difference and see electricity prices rise less than they would have without that legislation. We've introduced cheaper child care, which affects thousands of families in my electorate and is making a difference. For those at home, it may not feel like all of these measures, one by one, are making the boldest difference. But, generally speaking, they are, across the board, reducing the cost of living or limiting the cost of living.

We have more Medicare bulk-billing. We've got a Medicare urgent care clinic in my electorate that's seen thousands of patients since it opened its doors. We've boosted income support payments. The fee-free TAFE has made a huge difference to communities like mine.

As well as that, the government is still facing the inflation challenges. The primary focus of the Albanese government is making sure that we support families across the country in this cost-of-living crisis so that they can earn more and keep more of what they earn.

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