MPI – economic management
Mr PITT (Hinkler) (16:09): It is terribly unfortunate that I have had to sit through the contributions from the other side this afternoon. I note that member for Rankin’s complaints about the five-minutes of his life he would like back. I will see his five minutes and raise him to 10. I had to sit through the contribution of the member for McMahon, who is apparently the shadow Treasurer. In the 10 minutes that the member had, he spoke half about TV shows and the other half about the Treasurer.
I have not heard anything about a plan from Labor or what they intend to do or what they will do for the economy or what they will do for the nation but they certainly talked a lot about Blankety Blanks and everything else. If we were to talk about TV shows, the closest we would get to those opposite would be the Muppet Show because we know who is pulling their strings. Every time the Leader of the Opposition speaks, we know who moves his lips and it is certainly the CFMEU, and that is not in the interests of this nation by any way at all.
The member for McMahon also spoke about the nation paying the price. Well, the nation is paying the price of six years of instability of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government. That is the reality. Those opposite had literally rivers of gold to play with. The country was in an incredibly good economic position and they blew what was left from the Howard government. They spent the whole lot.
Where is the plan of those opposite? We have heard absolutely nothing about what they will do for the economy. The shadow Treasurer does not even know what the tax-free threshold is. Many of the people on this side of the chamber have been in business. We know the tax-free threshold and we know what the correct pay rates are. We know how to make the money that we need to pay those bills at the end of the month because there is nothing more difficult than meeting wages. So I congratulate the people who are out there in the economy doing their best for this country and employing Australians to participate in the economic stability of the nation.
The member for McMahon does have an advantage though. There is one Labor leader in the country who is actually worse, who does not know anything about the economy or how it works, and that would be Premier Palaszczuk, who, when asked what the GST rate actually was, did not know. I guarantee that everyone here knows that it is 10 per cent. It was a very poor reflection on the current Queensland Labor government. Hopefully they will do much better.
What are we doing? We are getting on with it. One of the first things we have sorted out this week is we have got rid of Labor’s bank deposit tax. You have not seen too much in the press but that is a 1½ billion-dollar tax put forward by Labor, placed on people’s bank deposits—that is, every business, every pensioner, every single person that holds money in the bank—and we have gotten rid of it. We have got rid of the trouser tax. If you did not use your account for three years, Labor took your money. It was absolute criminality. It was theft. We have sorted that out and put it back to where it should be.
We have approved 176 projects for the environment worth more than $1 trillion. That is where the jobs are. It is not us that produces jobs; it is up to business. They are the ones that employ and we must build the framework for them. It is incredibly important.
The Chinese free trade agreement will affect 95 per cent of exports and be duty-free. It includes seafood at 15 per cent. It will eliminate coal tariffs. In my electorate of Hinkler, it will certainly help the horticulture producers. Do not listen to me about it; listen to someone that actually produces stuff. Trevor Steinhardt, from Macadamias Australia, has provided me a quote. He said:
There are great benefits in the free trade agreements. Japan, China and South Korea will definitely help and they have come at an ideal time. Free trade agreements will give us a better return. The macadamia market is rapidly expanding due to tariffs on the ramp down.
This is a great reflection on what we are doing because the more we can put on someone’s bottom line, the better the opportunities for them to employ Australians and that is what we are about.
Those on the other side talk about economic management. But this is what they do: they throw all the money in the air and look where it lands and whatever department it falls in basically spends it. The rivers of gold, they certainly roll around in—they turn it into gold body paint and wash it down the river. They do not know how to manage money. Quite simply, they just spend. They gave $900-cheques to people who basically did not need it—some who did not exist, some who were deceased and certainly some who were not even Australian citizens.
On this side of the House, we are about a stronger economy. We are about lowering taxes. We are about ensuring the security of this nation and that there are jobs for our people in the future, including our children. What those on the other side will promote when it comes time for the election will be free televisions. Their economic plan will be to give everybody a free TV, which is what they did previously over and over again.