Making sure that our economy is strong and growing will ensure that all working Australians continue to have the best possible opportunity to get ahead.
The Coalition Government is ensuring Australia continues its record run of 27 consecutive years of economic growth with tax cuts for the 3.2 million small and medium businesses – employing over 6.7 million people – to drive investment and create new jobs.
A strong economy is driving jobs growth. We have achieved our 2013 goal to help create more than one million jobs within five years. This means more people have been able to move off welfare and into work. The combination of these additional new jobs and the Government’s action to ensure our welfare system is well-targeted has resulted in welfare dependency for working age Australians falling to its lowest level in 25 years. The Australian economy is creating, on average, more than 1,000 new jobs a day. 1989 was the last time we saw youth employment figures as high as they are today. 95,200 young Australians got a job in the last financial year – the strongest jobs growth for young people in a financial year since 1988-89, thirty years ago.
Our strong jobs record is no accident. Since coming into office in 2013, we have focussed on ensuring the right economic policies and market conditions to boost jobs. The level of new jobs created in the last 12 months represents around four times the jobs growth in the last year of the previous Labor government. These indicators demonstrate that the policies of the Coalition Government are assisting businesses to prosper and grow and are keeping our economy strong. Thanks to the hard work of Australian businesses and their employees, we have the strongest jobs growth in more than a decade.
Since the 2016 election, the Government has legislated over $41 billion of budget repair measures that have strengthened the bottom line. The real expenditure growth remains below two per cent, the most restrained of any Government in more than fifty years. In 2017-18, the Budget deficit will be $18.2 billion, less than half what it was two years ago and we are on track for a modest balance in 2019-20, increasing to a projected surplus of $11 billion in 2020-21. With the budget returning to balance, we will start paying down debt. Net debt will peak at 18.6 per cent of GDP in 2017-18 and will fall by around $30 billion over the next four years.