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Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Page: 52

Taxation


Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (14:59): My question is to the Treasurer. Australian workers pay $176 billion in tax every year, but ATO data reveals one in four public and foreign companies earning over $100 million in Australia pay no tax at all. Why is the Treasurer determined to hit workers with a 15 per cent GST, which will put up the cost of everything, instead of making large corporations just pay their fair share of tax?


Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (15:00): What would happen over the course of the next couple of years under the proposal of those opposite is that Australians would pay more tax and income tax. I have heard nothing from those opposite which has expressed any level of empathy with Australians who would have to pay a higher level of income tax into the future. I have not heard an argument for compensation for those Australians who work every day and who will have to pay higher taxes.

I come back to the issue the member has raised. Last year in this place we passed the multinational anti-avoidance tax legislation. That is what we passed—legislation that makes multinationals pay tax on the income they earn in this country.

Ms Plibersek interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney is warned. The member for Sydney will cease interjecting.

Mr MORRISON: You would think that those who have gasbagged about this for so long would have supported that legislation. They voted against it. They voted against laws in this place to make multinationals pay their fair share of tax. It was legislation that was to double the penalty, and it has done that. This went into force on 1 January, despite the fact that those opposite voted against new laws in this country that crack down on multinational tax avoidance. The reason for that is that the shadow Assistant Treasurer wants to follow his pet project of some system which is going to punish overseas investors for investing in infrastructure in this country and that Treasury advises the government is a bad idea that will cost jobs and prevent growth.

We worked with international organisations for years, we got ahead of the curve and we put legislation through this parliament to make sure multinationals pay fair tax in this country. As a result, the 30 companies we were looking at last year have now grown to 80.

Dr Leigh interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Fraser will cease interjecting.

Mr MORRISON: They have more than doubled because of the laws that were passed by this government and which were opposed by the Labor Party in this place and in the other place.

Mr Ewen Jones interjecting

The SPEAKER: I remind the member for Herbert that he has been warned.

Mr MORRISON: When it comes to the next election, the Australian people will look through the veneer of the statements being made by those opposite and they will see the lettuce economics of higher taxes, higher spending and more borrowing and the just absolute smokescreen and puff of wind when it comes to these things those opposite say they are so concerned about. When it came to actually voting for something that would enforce the law in this country and make multinationals pay their fair share of tax, those opposite turned to absolute lettuce.