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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13261

Goods and Services Tax


Mr BURKE (WatsonManager of Opposition Business) (14:43): My question is to the Prime Minister. In his last answer the Prime Minister said that some of the propositions on the GST which had been asked by the opposition were purely fanciful. Prime Minister, which ones?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:43): Let me deal with the most fanciful of all, and that is the proposition that this government—and I would hope any government—would contemplate increasing the goods and services tax without any compensation by way of income tax cuts, increases to pensions and matters of that kind. The honourable member knows full well what he is seeking to do, which is to put some sort of ferocious pressure—

Ms Owens interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Parramatta!

Mr TURNBULL: He is trying to put some ferocious pressure on the government to rule one thing out or another. The honourable member knows this, and the Australian people know this—that we are committed to ensuring that Australia remains a high-wage, generous-social-welfare-net, First World economy.

Mr Brendan O'Connor interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Gorton is warned!

Mr TURNBULL: That means that every economic lever of government, especially the tax system, must be calibrated so that it gets the best out of our economy, so that it ensures that it drives jobs—

Ms Owens interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Parramatta is now warned!

Mr TURNBULL: and so that it ensures that it drives investment. A conversation was begun earlier in the year and it continues. The government is consulting widely. We have had many suggestions, ideas, proposals and rebuttals, and the idea that the Labor Party proposes that this is some sort of attempt to oppress people on low incomes is simply fanciful. The Labor Party knows full well that our government, the coalition government, is committed to ensuring that Australia is an equitable society, that our tax and transfer system operates in a way that ensures that all Australians are treated fairly and that we get behind Australians in their enterprise to drive a stronger economy, stronger jobs, better jobs and better investment. All of that contributes to ensuring, as I said, that we remain a high-wage, generous social welfare net, First World economy. The honourable member has no interest in that, and his pathetic scare campaign is falling flat.