I’m pleased to speak about the 2018 budget and outline our plan for a stronger economy, including tax relief; encouraging and rewarding hardworking Australians and backing business to invest and create more jobs; guaranteeing essential services; keeping Australians safe; and ensuring that the government continues to live within its means.
That is very important to the young people in this room—to reward hardworking Australians, including those in my area of the South West. We’re making income tax lower, fairer and simpler. Our plan is affordable and will be implemented over seven years in three steps. It’ll provide tax relief now for lower and middle-income earners. In the next financial year, four million Australians will get tax relief of $530 annually, and over 10 million taxpayers overall will get tax relief. We are lifting tax brackets to protect Australians from the impact of bracket creep, and we’re simplifying taxes and ensuring that more people pay less tax. It is expected that about 94 per cent of taxpayers will pay 32.5 per cent tax or less, which is really good news for low- and medium-income earners.
Only the Turnbull government rewards hard work, and only our plan underpins a strong economy. So, the members on our side of the chamber understand how to create an economic environment where job creation is so important, and that’s with the support of business, and it is supporting business. The opposition believes that ‘business’ is a dirty word, that business simply make profits. However, we understand that businesses, particularly small businesses, are the backbone of the economy and employ nearly half of all Australians. That’s why there have been over 996,000 new jobs since the Turnbull government was elected, including 367,000 in the past 12 months.
In addition to job creation and tax cuts, we’re providing record funding for essential services—record funding for WA hospitals and schools. The government’s spending an average of $4,427 per student in Forrest this year, a figure that will continue to rise. I’m particularly pleased to see in the budget the funding for the treatment of advanced breast cancer, for spinal muscular atrophy and for endometriosis, to provide primary health professionals with more information to raise awareness and understanding of this disease, leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment for patients. It means better care for women, and health professionals will have a better understanding of treatment pathways, all in addition to the first ever national endometriosis plan.
I’m very pleased that this budget has delivered funding for the completion of a project for which I’ve fought for over a decade: the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.