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Source: Australian Treasurer

MELISSA MCINTOSH:

… community and the work that we’re doing in small business and manufacturing, that we’ve got the very first stop of the Treasurer after one of the most important Budgets our country has ever seen. We’re here at SpanSet, a local manufacturer, and I’m very, very pleased to now welcome the Treasurer of Australia, Josh Frydenberg. 

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well thank you very much Melissa. You’re doing a wonderful job as the Member for Lindsay and it’s great to be here in Emu Plains and to be here at Spanset with Christian who is running a fantastic business employing over 50 Australians, and with Frank, who runs a crane business, started from scratch, now employs more than 100 people. In the case of both these businesses, they’ve been using JobKeeper to support their staff through this crisis. And they are helping to create even more jobs by tapping in to the apprentice incentives that we’ve put in place in this crisis as well as, of course, the JobMaker hiring credit. I know that they are looking forward to utilising those opportunities as well.

Well it’s important that we’re here at a manufacturing business because manufacturing is important to creating more jobs across the economy. And the Prime Minister set out our manufacturing strategy, which is designed to focus on those areas where Australia has a comparative advantage. But also to drive down the costs of the inputs into manufacturing, including the energy costs. To provide more incentives as we’ve done in the Budget, $2 billion for research and development, and of course to generate more flexible labor markets to ensure we have a more productive economy including in manufacturing. And cutting red tape, that’s going to be critical to businesses like SpanSet and businesses right across the country. So manufacturing is at the heart of the jobs recovery, there was $1.5 billion in the Budget on Tuesday night, which will help drive more jobs across Australia in the manufacturing sector. I’ll hand over to Christian who’ll talk a bit about his business and then we’re happy to take some questions.

CHRISTIAN:

Thanks Josh, appreciate it. Firstly I’d like to say thanks to Josh and Melissa for coming out and being part of the manufacturing taskforce, it’s something very special and something that we’re very passionate about. Australian manufacturing is, can sometimes be a little bit tough, but I think we’re very much on the road to recovery. The assistance that we had through the pandemic with the JobKeeper, the JobMaker hiring credits will assist us also greatly and take advantage of the Government’s subsidies on new apprentices coming into the workforce which will, you know, it’s quite exciting. We’d like to upscale too, employ more people and increase the manufacturing sector in Australia which is exactly what we’re very passionate about, so thank you.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Thank you. Happy to take any questions.

QUESTION:

Treasurer, when these tax cuts pass today, which is expected, when are Australians going to get this extra money in their pay packets?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well the Tax Office will move immediately to update the tax schedules and the money will be flowing to the pay packets of Australians before the end of the year. These tax cuts, bringing forward Stage Two, is vitally important. It’s vitally important because it’s going to create more economic activity and it’s going to help create, according to Treasury, 50,000 jobs. 50,000 jobs from the tax cuts that will pass the Parliament today. And it’s all about allowing Australians to keep more of what they earn. Hardworking Australians everyday get up in the morning go to work, and now we’re going to help them keep more money in their pocket to spend as they see fit. And that increased economic activity will help create more jobs here at SpanSet and more jobs across the country. Whether it’s your local cafe, restaurant or pub, whether it’s your holiday destination, whether it’s in manufacturing or in other parts of the Australian economy, it will help generate economic activity. And there’s so much in this Budget to drive jobs creation. There’s the loss carry-back measure which will help business investment as well, there’s the investment incentives including the expanded instant asset write off, which will allow businesses like SpanSet, or like Frank’s crane business, to go out and purchase equipment and write it off all in year one. Then, of course, there are the other incentives in the Budget like the JobMaker hiring credit which will allow businesses to get a bonus from the Government to take on someone who is under the age of 35. There are measures right across this Budget, including bringing forward infrastructure spending and undertaking new infrastructure spending, which is all about jobs. Because Australia is going through a once in a century pandemic. A once in a century economic shock. But we’re fighting back, the Australian economy is fighting back. The jobs are coming back and, importantly, the Budget will help that occur into the future too.  

QUESTION:

Labor’s proposing to shake up childcare fees so more women can get back into the workforce. Do you think that’s a good idea?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Under Labor, childcare fees went up by more than 50 per cent. Under us, we drove an increase to a record high of female workforce participation. We have in this Budget $9.2 billion going into childcare. Importantly, through this crisis we’ve provided $900 million in further assistance for childcare which has enabled 99 per cent of those childcare providers to stay open, to stay viable and to provide those important services to the families who need them. So our emphasis in our childcare policy has been to provide additional support to those low and middle-income earners, to reduce the cost of childcare to enable more people to access it and, in the process, to drive female workforce participation. Also, in our Budget is the second Women’s Economic Security Statement, helping to generate more jobs for women in key areas like science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They’re the people who are working in manufacturing businesses like the one that we are visiting today. They’re important in the research and development, they’re important in the supply chain and they’re going to get more jobs as a result of our measures in the Budget.   

QUESTION:

This year, the Government has had its largest deficit in years, but over in WA, they’ve actually posted a surplus. What do you say to those unhappy Western Australians who feel like they’re carrying the country?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

I note that in Western Australia, the Western Australian Government has spent just over 2 per cent of Gross State Product in response to this crisis. We as a Federal Government, the Morrison Government, has spent more than six times that as a percentage of national GDP. So I would say to the Western Australian Government to spend more on your local community, share more of that burden, dig deeper into your pockets because our focus has been on delivering extra support to the people of Western Australia. More than $7 billion has gone from the Federal Government to the people of Western Australia through just JobKeeper and the cash flow boost alone. That’s more economic support than the Western Australian Government itself has provided. So I say to all the state and territory governments, you need to do more. The Governor of the Reserve Bank has said you have the capacity to spend an additional $40 billion. If you can spend more, that will mean more jobs across your community.

QUESTION:

Australians have been paying tax at the usual rates since the end of July. Will these new tax cuts apply to that tax they’ve already paid and be backdated, in a sense? 

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Tax cuts have been backdated. They’ve been backdated until 1 July. Once those PAYG withholding schedules have been updated, then those benefits will flow to (inaudible) across Australia. They will also get additional money when they put in their return at the end of the year, because we have put in an additional low and middle-income tax offset for workers across Australia. These tax cuts will mean more jobs. The tax cuts that the Coalition Government, the tax cuts that the Morrison Government has introduced to the Parliament, will mean more jobs across Australia. They are a key part of our economic recovery. Importantly, they are allowing Australians to keep more of what they earn. Thank you.

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