Private Members’ Business – Economy

27 Mar | '2023

Wow! Mr Deputy Speaker, have you ever known a government more full of itself than this Albanese one? Labor love to talk. They love the big talk and to talk about how great they are. I’m sure they’ve have all given themselves a slap on the back. ‘What a great 10 months it’s been under Labor,’ they say. But Australians know it hasn’t been a great 10 months. It hasn’t even been an average 10 months, Mr Deputy Speaker. It’s actually been a train wreck. We’ve now seen nine interest rate increases in a row. We’ve watched electricity and gas prices skyrocket. We’ve watched Australians across our great nation struggle to keep a roof over their head and to feed their families. It has been 10 months of watching Labor and their union mates ruin the economy.

I know I’ve got only five minutes to speak, but there is so much misinformation in this motion that I have to laugh. Let’s start with the claim that they handed down a budget that ‘delivered cost-of-living relief’. That is clearly misleading this chamber, because that is one big, fat Labor lie, if I’ve ever heard one from those opposite. What cost-of-living relief? You’ve delivered nothing for Australian families but more and more hardship. Families are struggling. They’re trying to decide if they heat or if they eat. Small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Claims from this government that they’re delivering cost-of-living relief are just false.

While we’re talking about misleading this chamber, can the member for Hawke tell families in his electorate that their electricity prices will come down by $275? Can Labor promise families that their energy prices will come down? Oh wait, they did that—97 times. Yet, here we are, 10 months later and nothing—no plans to make your electricity prices cheaper. It’s another Labor lie and another broken promise from the Albanese government.

They’ve got a few of those broken promises. They promised cheaper mortgages, no changes to super and lower inflation. There’s silence from the other side; they know it is all true. They promised no changes to franking credits, no changes to industry-wide bargaining, no increase to taxes, increases to real wages—the list goes on. It’s more Labor lies and broken promises.

Then they promised cheaper child care. I don’t know if the member for Hawke reads the news, but the cost of early learning has already increased on your watch. The latest CPI data—

Opposition members interjecting—

Ms BELL: Again, they are arguing—arguing with the fact that the latest CPI data shows costs increased by a whopping 4.5 per cent in December 2022. That’s the largest increase outside the COVID measures since 2007. It’s expected, given the last time Labor was in government fees skyrocketed by 53 per cent in just three years. The only thing that will happen on 1 July is further burnout for educators, higher fees and more families struggling to find a place for their children. For some families in regional, rural and remote Australia, living in a thin market or a childcare desert, nothing will change from 1 July, because they still won’t be able to access care and this government has no plans to fix that. There’s $4.7 billion, and not $1 will go to delivering more access for families.

In contrast, the coalition has a strong record when it comes to delivering for Australian families. We doubled our investment in ECCE and locked in ongoing preschool funding. That was the coalition government. We increased access for more than 280,000 children, brought costs down and increased women’s workforce participation.

But that’s not all we did in government; we protected our country and economy during COVID, growing our economy and maintaining our AAA credit rating. Unemployment fell to 3.9 per cent, its lowest level in 48 years, in April 2022. We reduced the tax rate for small businesses 25 per cent, the lowest rate in 50 years. We signed agreements with Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Peru and many more countries to improve trade opportunities for Australian exporters. We doubled hospital funding to $27.2 billion, listed more than 2,900 medicines on the PBS, delivered telehealth and improved access to private health and Medicare. We more than doubled school funding to $25 billion. That’s the coalition record.

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