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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6790


Dr LEIGH (Fraser) (10:32): We can only be glad that this show is appearing all this week and next. I want to ask a number of questions of the minister at the table. First, the budget provides hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to multinationals by delaying the reforms to the Offshore Banking Unit, $180 million; and deferring the start date of the legislative elements to improve tax compliance through third-party reporting and data-matching, $113 million. Minister, why has the government given $1.1 billion back to multinationals while ripping money away from pensioners and low-income Australians?

Secondly, does the minister agree with the Prime Minister's comments that the reintroduction of indexation of the fuel excise will 'act like a carbon tax'? Given the comments of the Prime Minister in the United States that the reintroduction of fuel excise indexation will act like a carbon tax, has Treasury conducted any modelling of the impact of fuel excise indexation on Australia's carbon emissions and, if not, why not?

Since the minister has not only told us that if we abolish the carbon price we will win the World Cup but also that it is evil, I wonder if he might tell us what adjective he would best use to describe the indexation of fuel excise, which, as the Prime Minister has said, acts like a carbon tax. Would it be 'immoral', 'wicked', 'unholy', 'sinful', 'ignoble', 'base', 'dishonourable', 'villainous', 'nefarious', 'sinister', 'vicious', 'malicious', 'demonic', 'devilish', 'diabolical', 'fiendish', or maybe simply 'black hearted'? And, Minister, why do the cuts to research and development tax incentive commence on 1 July 2014 when the reduction in the company tax rate, which it is purported to offset, does not commence until 1 July 2015?