A Stronger Australia: Progress After 5 Years

 

A STRONGER ECONOMY

Australia’s economy (GDP) is growing at 3.4% - more strongly than at any time since 2012, which was during the height of the mining boom. Australia’s economy is growing at a stronger rate than the world’s seven largest advanced economies – USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, UK, Japan – and the OECD average.

MORE JOBS

The promise made in 2013 for one million new jobs to be created within five years, has been delivered. 1,088,600 more Australians are in jobs since September 2013 (as at August 2018). Over half of these have been full time jobs.

412,000 more jobs were created in 2017 alone – the most jobs created in a calendar year on record. Recent ABS figures also show 95,500 jobs for 15-24 year olds being added in the year to June 2018 – the strongest result over a financial year since 1989.

The unemployment rate has declined to 5.3 per cent, the lowest level since 2012 and below the level we inherited from Labor in September 2013 (5.7 per cent). Likewise, the youth unemployment rate is at its lowest level in over six years – 11.1 per cent. Again, this is down on the level we inherited in September 2013 (12.7 per cent).

LESS WELFARE DEPENDENCY

More Australians are finding jobs. The percentage of working age Australians on welfare has fallen to 15.1% – the lowest rate of welfare dependency in over twenty-five years.

INCOME TAX RELIEF

We’re making income taxes lower, fairer and simpler.

In 2018-19, around 4.4 million Australians will get tax relief of $530 per year and over 10 million taxpayers will get some tax relief. The tax relief plan we have legislated will remove an entire tax bracket, meaning that by the time our plan is fully implemented, 94% of taxpayers will pay no more than 32.5 cents in the dollar.

SMALL BUSINESS TAX CUTS

Tax cuts have been delivered for 3.3 million businesses employing around 7 million Australians. Further tax relief has been legislated (to further reduce the rate from 27.5% to 25% for businesses with annual turnover up to $50 million).

For unincorporated businesses with a turnover less than $5 million, we have introduced a tax discount of 8% (capped at $1,000), and have legislated a further increase to 16%.

INSTANT ASSET WRITE OFF

Small businesses are being encouraged to invest in new equipment and machinery, with an instant asset write off for businesses with an annual turnover up to $10 million. This was used by almost 350,000 small businesses in 2016-17.

LESS RED TAPE

Compliance costs have been reduced for businesses, individuals and community groups by $5.9 billion since 2013 – including simplified Business Activity Statements, a Small Business Superannuation Clearing House and thousands of other decisions that are making life easier.

MORE AFFORDABLE ENERGY

Labor’s Carbon Tax has been abolished.

While electricity prices doubled under Labor, we have turned the corner on electricity prices, with a 1.3% fall measured by the ABS in the last quarter.

A number of new measures – a safety net price, a big stick to stop energy companies ripping off customers, and a technology neutral program to underwrite new energy generation – will further reduce electricity prices.

The feasibility study for Snowy Hydro 2.0 has been completed, which showed Snowy 2.0 will increase the scheme’s capacity by 50%, improving the reliability of renewable energy and the national electricity grid.

RECORD INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT

A record $75 billion is being invested over the next decade in highway upgrades, congestion busting roads, rail projects including inland rail, improved local roads and a new airport.

FIXING THE BUDGET

Over $41 billion in Budget savings have been delivered since the 2016 election. We have halved the growth in spending – from 4% per year under Labor, to 1.9% under the Coalition (the most restrained of any Government in more than fifty years).

The Budget deficit in 2017-18 is projected to be $18.2 billion, less than half what it was two years ago. We are on track for a balanced budget in 2019-20.

MORE EXPORTS

Trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea have been delivered, while negotiations have been completed for agreements with Peru and Indonesia, as well as the new Trans-Pacific Partnership between 11 major economies in our region (collectively worth $13.7 trillion).

Australia’s exports increased to $401 billion in 2017-18, up from $307 billion in 2012-13. In 2017-18 Australia had a trade surplus of $6.4 billion (compared to a deficit of around $20 billion in 2012-13).

TACKLING UNION LAWLESSNESS

The Australian Building and Construction Commission has been restored to protect 1.1 million employees and 350,000 small businesses and tradies in the building industry from CFMMEU lawlessness. Corrupt and secret payments have been banned between businesses and unions.

Around 35,000 owner-operator truck drivers were saved from a hostile union takeover, with the abolition of the so-called "Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal" established by Bill Shorten.

SECURE BORDERS

We stopped the boats. After 50,000 illegal arrivals in 800 boats under Labor, Australia’s borders are now secure and there were no arrivals over four years (from 2014 to 2018).

17 detention centres have been closed, saving the Budget billions.

FIGHTING TERROR

14 major terrorist plots have been thwarted. The Government is boosting our security agencies, has introduced tougher anti-terror laws and is revoking citizenship of dual nationals who engage in terrorism.

DEPORTING CRIMINALS

The Government has cancelled visas of 3,700 serious criminals – including murderers, rapists, child sex offenders, armed robbers and drug dealers. This follows the strengthening of the Migration Act, enabling the deportation of non-citizens who commit serious crimes.

TACKLING SCOURGE OF ICE

The AFP has seized over 15 tonnes of Ice since 2013. We are providing record funding for law enforcement and treatment.

A STRONGER DEFENCE FORCE

We are undertaking the largest build-up of our military capabilities in peacetime history to provide the weapons, vehicles, ships, systems and aircraft to defend our nation and our interests. Our $90 billion continuous shipbuilding program will see 54 ships built in Australia using Australian steel. Labor did not commission a single vessel to be built in Australia during their six years in office

CRACKING DOWN ON PAEDOPHILES

Carly’s Law has been introduced and has already led to high profile arrests. Registered sex offenders have been banned from holding an Australian passport. Legislation has been introduced that means paedophiles would spend longer in jail, be less likely to get bail or parole and face mandatory sentences.

MORE AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE

The New Child Care Package benefits around one million families, by abolishing the $7,613 annual cap for families (incomes up to $187,000) and introducing a new Child Care Subsidy.

MORE SCHOOLS FUNDING

An extra $24.5 billion of funding is being provided over a decade – a 50% funding increase for the average student. Our agreement replaces 27 secret deals and will provide needs based funding for all students.

BETTER HEALTH CARE

We are doubling public hospital funding compared to Labor, increasing funding from $13.3 billion in 2012-13 to a record $28.7 billion in 2024-25 (116% growth over this period).

86% of GP visits were bulk billed last year – 27.3 million more than Labor’s last year – a Medicare record. Reforms have been introduced to make private health insurance easier to understand and more affordable.

IMMUNISATIONS

From the start of this year, all 12 and 13 year olds have access to free protection against the HPV virus and cervical and other cancers.

Every mother will now be given the opportunity to vaccinate against whooping cough with a free vaccine.

Every 12 month old in the country is now offered a free quad-strain (ACWY) meningococcal vaccine.

Our No Jab, No Pay policy resulted in 210,000 extra children immunised in its first year. More than 94% of Australian children are immunised as a result of the Coalition Government’s initiatives.

LIFE SAVING MEDICINES

There has been an average of one new or amended medicine listing a day on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, worth more than $9 billion.

In some cases, medicines that are worth hundreds of thousands are now available for $6.40 (pensioners / concessional) or $39.50 (general patients) per script, benefiting people suffering from conditions such as breast cancer, spinal muscular atrophy, heart disease, epilepsy, severe asthma and cystic fibrosis.

We are listing every medicine that the independent experts recommend. This was not the approach taken by Labor, who deferred and delayed several important medicines.

SUPPORTING SENIORS

We are investing in skills programs for older workers, allowing people on the Age Pension to keep more of what they earn, expanding the Pension Loans Scheme, allowing recent retirees to make further super contributions and providing more high level home care packages. We will fight Bill Shorten’s new Retirement Tax.

WELFARE TO WORK

We believe the best form of welfare is a job. Work for the Dole has been reinvigorated with almost 71,000 participants. People will no longer be able to use drug and alcohol dependency as an excuse for missing their requirements, unless they are prepared to seek treatment. We're also trialling cashless welfare cards and are seeking to trial drug testing of welfare recipients.

RESTRICTING GAMBLING ADS

As part of the Coalition Government’s media reforms, gambling ads have been removed during televised sports between 5:00am and 8.30pm on free-to-air television. These restrictions came into effect on 30 March 2018 and the same restrictions for online content services will come into effect on 28 September 2018.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE

All Australians had the opportunity to have a say on same sex marriage, which is now law.