Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:50): As we wrap up this sitting period, I want to use this opportunity to reflect on the government’s economic achievements in the lead-up to budget week in April. We came to government with a plan for a stronger economy and that plan is delivering. It’s delivering for my constituents in Barker. More than 1.2 million new Aussie jobs have been created since we were elected. That’s around 24,000 jobs a year. Barker’s unemployment rate is down to four per cent, from 5.8 per cent when we came in to government in September 2013. Because of this record level of employment being driven by a strong economy, welfare dependency is now at its lowest level in 30 years.
We are delivering lower taxes for 10 million Australian taxpayers. More than 58,000 low- and middle-income earners in Barker will benefit from income tax relief this year, many receiving a full $330 tax offset. And there will be lower taxes for 3.3 million Aussie small businesses, including the more than 19,000 in Barker. We’re delivering more money for schools, investing an extra $37.6 billion in Australian schools’ funding over next decade. Funding for 101 public schools in Barker is increasing, in some cases by 60 per cent per student. There is more money for health. Our economic approach stands in contrast to those opposite, who want to rip your taxes up by $200 billion. If you want a strong Australia, a strong economy and a strong Barker, stick with our plan.