PM promises to cut debt, create 1.25m jobs over five years

Australia Business

Australia will have an extra 1.25 million jobs in five years and no government debt in a decade if the coalition remains in power, the prime minister has promised.

The pledge comes as Scott Morrison ramps up his attack on the opposition’s economic credentials, while Labor leader Bill Shorten accuses him of running a fear campaign.

The coalition’s new jobs and debt targets will be achieved through the next stage of an economic plan to be highlighted by Mr Morrison in a speech in Brisbane on Tuesday.

The leader will laud the economic record of his “jobs government” and stress the benefits of a strong economy to voters.

“At this next election only half of those of voting age will have experienced a recession during their working lives,” he will say.

“So it is important to remind all of us that our economy cannot be taken for granted, that the economy is real, its impacts are real and, most importantly, it’s all about people.”

The prime minister will also argue a Labor government would produce a weaker economy.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks to strawberry farm owners Peter and Laura Hendriksen in Queensland.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks to strawberry farm owners Peter and Laura Hendriksen in Queensland.


But Mr Morrison has stopped short of suggesting Labor would cause a recession, as cabinet colleague Christopher Pyne did in November.

He also rejected suggestions he was running a scare campaign.

“It’s a fact. They are going to put $200 billion in new and higher taxes on the Australian economy and they boast about it,” Mr Morrison told ABC’s AM ahead of the speech.

Mr Shorten says fear-mongering is exactly what is going on.

“They’ve run out of anything to say about themselves, all they can do is talk about us,” he told reporters in regional NSW.

In his address, the prime minister will point to the creation of 1.1 million jobs since the coalition won government in 2013 and a current low unemployment rate of five per cent.

He will pledge to help create another 1.25 million positions over the next five years and eliminate government debt within a decade.

Labor has repeatedly highlighted that government debt has doubled in the past five years but Mr Morrison says that is because the coalition still had deficits to deal with.

“We no longer, for the first time this year and this budget, will have a deficit. That means you can start paying down debt,” he told Seven’s Sunrise.

The coalition’s jobs and debt targets would be achieved through key pillars of the coalition’s economic plan, including a strong budget, lower taxes, support for small business and reliable and affordable energy.

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