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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Question QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE Budget Wednesday, 27 May 2015 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Responder Hockey, Joe, MP Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (14:30): My question is to the Treasurer. If companies are not making a profit, how is the economy stimulated by tax cuts for small business? If a business dies and does not have the capital, how can it benefit from a tax write-off? Should we not be stimulating demand by increasing the money supply and by reorganising government, to boost demand so that business can achieve a profit and a confident Australia? Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney—The Treasurer) (14:30): I would say to the honourable member: in general, good businesses do well and bad businesses do tend to fail. The only thing that can make a big difference is if an economy is weak and it causes good businesses to fail. What we want is for the economy to strengthen. We want to lift the tide so that all boats rise. Most importantly, we want to strengthen the Australian economy to facilitate the innovation that is going to help to drive job creation because, ultimately, jobs do not come from governments; they come from the enterprise of businesses and individuals. Our view is that whatever we can do to help the Australian economy to strengthen we should do. Now, we are going to do it within the envelope that we were provided with. When we came to government we inherited a budget that was haemorrhaging $133 million every day. The budget was haemorrhaging $133 million every day because Labor adopted the attitude that it is okay to spend more than you collect every day. So, every day the Australian government had to borrow $133 million just to pay its bills. We have reduced that to $96 million a day now, but it is still not good enough and we readily accept that. So somehow we have to reduce our own borrowings and reduce our own spending, and at the same time lift the rest of the Australian economy. We are doing that through a number of initiatives. It is all part of our broader economic plan. We are building new trade agreements with China, with Korea and with Japan. They have been huge initiatives that are opening up the market for those vast number of Australian businesses in the services industry. And why do I point that out? Well, the honourable member understands the resources industry well. Mining and resources are hugely important for Australia but are just nine per cent of our economy, exporting 55 per cent of its share. So it is a fantastic exporter from nine per cent of the economy. The big area of opportunity is the 70 per cent of the Australian economy that is services—health services, education services, tourism services, financial services, accounting services and property services. They are 70 per cent of the Australian economy, but only 17 per cent of our exports. And so by investing in small business we are investing in the innovators and the job creators of the future. And we are opening the doors to new markets for those businesses, because the jobs that are going to be there for our children and our grandchildren almost certainly have not been thought of today. Therefore the more we can put into innovation, the more we can put into reward for effort and the more we can put into small business, the more prosperity Australia is going to have. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 149


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