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Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Page: 2813


Mr FRYDENBERG (5:47 PM) —You can learn a lot about a politician by asking who their political heroes are. If you ask the members opposite, they will point to two men: Paul Keating, who gave us the recession we had to have, and Gough Whitlam, who drove this country near to bankruptcy and had to borrow money from Saddam Hussein to save this country. Who do we on this side of politics look to as our political heroes? We look to Margaret Thatcher, and what did Margaret Thatcher say? ‘The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.’ We look to Ronald Reagan. What did Ronald Reagan say about the socialist approach to the economy? ‘If something moves they regulate it. If it keeps moving they tax it. And if it stops moving they subsidise it.’ Who else do we look to on this side of politics as our political heroes? John Howard and Peter Costello. What did they do? They paid back $96 billion of Labor debt. What did they do? They overcame Beazley’s $10 billion black hole. What did they do? They have produced the lowest inflation and unemployment rates in decades. What did they do? They had the vision to create a $50 billion Future Fund and a $5 billion-plus Higher Education Endowment Fund.

The best way you can help somebody is to help them get a job, and the best way you can help a person get a job is by creating a strong economy—because at the end of the day governments have great responsibilities. We have heard about defence, we have heard about the environment and we have heard about health, but if you do not run the economy well you will not be able to support the Australian people. That is why I rise to support the Tax Laws Amendment (2010 Measures No. 4) Bill 2010.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms AE Burke)—I am pleased the member has finally got to the amendments before the House. I was beginning to think that we needed to get back there.


Mr FRYDENBERG —The insertion of a new schedule 8 will provide tax receipts to individual taxpayers. It will require the ATO to accompany a notice of an assessment for an individual with a receipt showing how that tax was paid for a particular financial year and how that money was spent on the key categories of government expenditure. Importantly, it will also show the level of Australian government net debt. Why do those members opposite not support these amendments? The reason is that they do not want to let the Australian people in on the big secret that we are borrowing $100 million a day. They do not believe that it is Australian taxpayers who know how best to spend their money and they do not want to explain to the Australian people why a desperate Rudd government had to resort to a mining tax. They do not want to let the Australian people know why a desperate Gillard government wants to run to a carbon tax. They do not want to explain to the Australian people why they want to cut the health insurance rebate and they do not want to explain to the Australian people why they are not prepared to support independent and Catholic schools.

This should be no surprise because, if you look at this government’s record, remember that the member for Griffith, who has departed this chamber, went to the 2007 election promising to be a fiscal conservative but never stuck to his word. Instead, he wasted billions of dollars on the tragic pink batts program, $43 billion which the government plans to spend on the NBN, the catastrophic Green Loans scheme—and we all know about the BER scheme and the huge wastage that has taken place there. When you look at the government’s economic record and when you look at its economic team—the Prime Minister, the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, the Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer—they do not have any small business experience and they do not have the economic record to stand on. (Time expired)