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Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Page: 2104

Budget


Senator WONG (South AustraliaLeader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:00): My question is to the Minister for Finance, Senator Cormann. Will the federal budget be delivered on 10 May 2016?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate and Special Minister of State) (14:00): Yes.


Senator WONG (South AustraliaLeader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:00): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Will the Turnbull government's tax policy be announced on 10 May 2016?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate and Special Minister of State) (14:01): I can confirm for the Senate that this year's budget, like every budget in the past, will include the government's plan for stronger growth and more jobs to help the Australian people through the transition from resource investment and construction driven growth to broader drivers of economic activity and growth.

The PRESIDENT: Pause the clock. Senator Moore?

Senator Moore: Mr President, I rise on a point of order. It is on direct relevance. Maybe the minister is getting to it, but the particular question was around tax policy.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Moore. I will allow the minister to continue. He has been answering the question.

Senator CORMANN: The problem for the Labor Party is that they are so juvenile. They think they can ask their student-politicky-type questions day in, day out and that somehow they are going to have a 'gotcher' moment here. Let me confirm again: every budget, from time immemorial, has got measures on the revenue side of the budget and measures on the expenditure side of the budget. Since we have been the government, we have been working to get spending growth under control, to get the unsustainable spending growth trajectory that we inherited from Labor under control, and we have been working to make our tax system more growth-friendly. That is why in last year's budget we delivered tax cuts for small business. That is why in previous budgets— (Time expired)






Senator WONG (South AustraliaLeader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:02): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. Will the Turnbull government provide this parliament, and in particular the Senate, with the opportunity to properly consider the 2016 budget before the election?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate and Special Minister of State) (14:02): I look forward to the scrutiny by the parliament of the government's budget and our plan for stronger growth and more jobs over the next four years. Indeed, I look forward to the scrutiny by the Australian people of our plan for stronger growth and more jobs, as opposed to Labor's $50 billion budget black hole, as opposed to Labor's unfunded spending promises. On our side, there will be a team of people working to help the Australian economy to successfully transition—

The PRESIDENT: Pause the clock. Point of order, Senator Cameron?

Senator Cameron: Mr President, I rise on a point of order. The issue was about appropriate time for scrutiny. The 2014-15 budget cut pensions. They—

The PRESIDENT: There is no point of order, Senator Cameron. Resume your seat. The minister has been directly relevant and he answered the question in the first 15 seconds of his answer. Minister, you have the call.

Senator CORMANN: In the lead-up to the next election, whenever that will be, the Australian people will have a clear choice between our team, with a plan to assist the Australian economy to successfully transition from resource investment and construction driven growth to broader drivers of economic activity and growth, and, on the other side, a team that is just all about more taxes, more spending, more debt and, of course, who have not learned from their past mistakes.