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Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Page: 47

Taxation


Mr SHORTEN (Maribyrnong—Leader of the Opposition) (14:43): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister adopt Labor's policies on closing superannuation loopholes, tobacco excise, multinational taxation, scrapping the emissions reduction fund, the baby bonus and the plebiscite so that Australia can invest in the best-quality education for all our kids, no matter where they live or the wealth of their parents?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:43): The honourable member has given me a shopping list of some of his more recent policy announcements, and all I can say to the honourable member—

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon!

Mr TURNBULL: is that we thank him for his proposals: all suggestions and proposals gratefully received.

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield is now warned.

Mr TURNBULL: Some of them are of higher quality than others, but we are having a good and constructive debate about taxation policy in particular in Australia. His colleague Jay Weatherill was on 7.30 Report last night, with the Premier of New South Wales, Mike Baird, endeavouring to find some common ground. And the calls that they make—that his colleague Jay Weatherill makes in the Labor Party—is that we should have a constructive debate and one that is thoughtful and detailed and one that is not full of shrill scare campaigns. So really, the opportunity—

Ms Macklin interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Jagajaga!

Mr TURNBULL: is now for the Leader of the Opposition. Apparently, unlike Jay Weatherill, he does not think it is a good idea to increase the GST. Well, a lot of people disagree with doing that—and that is perfectly reasonable. But there is a variety of views. And all of us, I believe, understand the fact that, in the absence of appropriate compensation, a rise in the GST would have a regressive nature. We all understand that and we have talked about that. The design of compensation, the design of any tax cuts—all of those things would be critically important. But what the honourable member should be doing is putting forward his own proposals if he does not like that.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: The honourable members' proposals raise a tiny amount of money relative to the budgetary demands. The honourable members claim that they raise $70 billion. They do not raise $70 billion. The honourable members claim they are going to get $70 billion out of the beleaguered smokers of Australia. Well, I do not think that is going to happen. The reality is that the Labor Party left us with a massive budgetary black hole—every Australian understands that. They refused to pass savings measures in the Senate, so they are doing nothing to assist in addressing that. They have proposed a couple of changes—increasing tobacco excise, which raises a relatively modest amount of money, and some changes to taxation of multinationals, which is highly controversial. Again, the amount of money would be very modest in the context of the challenges we face. Labor left a massive black hole, and what it proposes is just fiddling around the edges.

Ms Macklin interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Jagajaga is now warned. I asked the member for McMahon to cease interjecting a number of times. The member for Fairfax.