Thank you Mr Speaker, so we have that tirade from the Leader of the Opposition, the man who as a union leader sold out his members again and again. He was prepared to exchange penalty rates for cleaners in return for a deal, a secret deal with the employer with money going back to the union.
This is a great leader we are told, wants to be Prime Minister. He voted against making payments between large companies and unions transparent. Can you believe that? He is in favour of secret and corrupt payments, he did not want them to be banned, he did not want the public to know, the members of unions, to know about that. One deal after another, behind the back of the men and women he was supposed to represent.
Mr Speaker, right through this Parliament, we have been able, despite his negativity, we have been able to deliver one great economic step in advancing the interests of hard-working Australian families.
Mr Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition doesn't seem to care, that last year, we have the largest jobs growth in Australia’s history. The largest jobs growth than any single year. Over 400,000 jobs. We have, Mr Speaker economic growth which is now faster, higher than any of the G7 economies.
So, economic management is a key priority for governments, the you are, highest job growth, high economic growth. And employment, Mr Speaker, we have now unemployment at its lowest level since November 2012. Now, we want to see it lower and we want to see wages growth higher but what we are doing is delivering stronger economic growth, more jobs, lower unemployment, and what that will deliver, as the Reserve Bank was saying only today, is higher wages and we are starting to see that movement in higher wages.
It all comes from a stronger economy.
Now that, we’ve been able to do as we have reduced taxes for Australians, Australian families, we have introduced and passed through the house with a one seat majority he reminds me of regularly, through the Senate where we are on a minority the largest personal income tax reform in 20 years.
So hard-working Australian families, middle income taxpayers are getting a $530 back each during this current financial year and by 2024, we will see 94% of Australians paying no more than 32.5 cents on any extra dollar they earn.
Mr Speaker, we also have succeeded, and this is a vital priority, in being able to bring down youth unemployment to its lowest level since April 2012. More than 57,000 young Australians found a job in the 12 months to July this year. Now, that is again a reminder of what a strong economy does. You get more economic growth, more investment, more jobs.
And the female participation rate is at record levels. So, Mr Speaker, we hear from the Leader of the Opposition, his complaints about economic management. Stronger economic growth than any of the G7 economies, record jobs growth, the lowest unemployment rates since 2012, the lowest youth unemployment rate since 2012. The highest female participation rate. That is what you get from a strong economy, and that is what we are delivering.
Mr Speaker, we are delivering, we have delivered lower taxes for small and medium Australian businesses. Now, these are overwhelmingly family-owned businesses and these are businesses turning over less than $50 million a year which employ over half the private sector workforce. These are not big companies, these are not giant multinationals, but they are employing millions of Australians and are employing more of them because of our reforms.
Mr Speaker, the honorable member refers to energy. Let's be quite clear about this. The Labor Party's policies on energy are a repeat of policies that have failed. They want to have a 50% Renewable Energy Target when we know the renewable energy target was a mistake. It is widely recognised as such, called out by the ACCC.
What it did was displace despatchable power and resulted in huge amount of renewable power regardless of what it did to the reliability of the system, and the member for Port Adelaide knows all about that because he comes from South Australia where energy is most
expensive and it’s least reliable.
Now, what we are committed to doing is delivering cheaper power, prices fell in the June quarter 1.3%, not a huge fall but they’re coming down, and we have seen lower prices quoted by retailers for the current quarter.
The new default market offer that we are going to establish based on the recommendation from the ACCC inquiry which we initiated, it will result in substantial savings for consumers and businesses.
For consumers, up to $416 a year, and for businesses, small businesses, $1,457 a year.
Now, Mr Speaker, the honorable member talked about funding the health and hospitals. We are spending record amounts in every area of health. Health, hospitals, Medicare, PBS. When new life saving drugs are recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, we list them.
We don't have to do as Labor did and postpone their listing because they couldn't afford to do so. A stronger economy enables you to do all that. We have increased bulk billing rates, they are now at record levels. 86.1% of all GP services are bulk billed. The Labor wants to repeat the lies they have run at the last election and every by-election. But the reality is every public hospital in Australia is receiving more funding under our government than it did under Labor.
Mr Speaker, in terms of schools, again, the Labor lies were rolled out. We are spending a record $249.8 billion over the next 10 years on schools and we have cleaned up Labor's 27 special deals that saw students in one state getting less funding than another.
And Mr Speaker, in terms of national security, Labor neglected our defence forces, they did not commission one new naval ship their whole time in office. We have 53 vessels either under construction or under design and that is because we are determined to keep Australians safe. And we are able to pay for it because of the stronger economy that delivers stronger government revenues and enable us, in addition to doing all that that to bring the budget into balance a year early.
Now, the alternative that Labor offers ask is an abandonment of every principle and value the Labor Party used to stand for. The Labor Party used to stand for aspiration. No, not any more. It's a mystery. They used to stand the people getting ahead and having a go. Not
any more. We have the politics of envy being rolled out in every electorate around the country. Labor is going after small businesses, family owned businesses. It is going after businesses no matter how small they are, it wants them to pay more tax. It's going after individual taxpayers, it’s going after retirees.
I heard the Leader of the Opposition talk about self-funded retirees. Well, Mr Speaker, the lead of the opposition is going after their savings. Anyone with a portfolio and that type of investor, a self-funded retiree will have a portfolio with Australian shares in it, the Labor Party wants to take away 30% of their income.
A cash grab that will leave all of those families short. That’s the Labor approach. Going after families, going after self-funded retirees, going after businesses and with energy policies that can have only one result, which is higher and higher energy prices.
Now we are taking action to defend Australian families, get taxes down, electricity prices down, jobs up, investment up. The energetic, economic growth that we need which results in higher wages as we are starting to see. That is our commitment, we are standing up for the Australian families. The Australian workers that the Leader of the Opposition abandoned in his union career and now abandons in this chamber.