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Tuesday, 9 May 2017
Page: 11


Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaMinister for Small Business) (12:44): I encourage, urge and implore the member for Kingsford Smith to listen very carefully to the Treasurer in relation to education in his budget speech tonight, I really do, and I urge all Labor members opposite to listen to the entirety of the speech, because it is going to talk about fairness. It is going to talk about making sure that our small businesses get the fairness they deserve. They deserve a lowering of the company tax rate. The member for Kingsford Smith used the typical Labor lines of demonising banks and demonising mining companies. They employ Australians too. They do. They employ them in regional areas. The member for Kingsford Smith should get out of Mascot sometimes and come over the Great Dividing Range. There is a whole wide world out there of small businesses, from garages in Gippsland to bakeries up in Capricornia. It does not matter where you go in this great country of ours, there are small businesses relying on the government to largely get out of the way, to give them a tax break; give them that instant asset write-off; make sure that we back them; make sure that we are talking positively about them; make sure that we are lowering the compliance burden; make sure that we are easing their red tape burden; but largely, Member for Kingsford Smith, get out of their way and let them do what they do best.

The member for Kingsford Smith talked about trickle-down economics. The member for Griffith went, 'Hear, hear!' The member for Griffith went, 'Yeah, that's right, trickle-down economics.' I do not hear anybody talking about trickle-down economics when I go out there and talk to small businesses. The ladies in the bakery are not talking about trickle-down economics and the blokes in the garages are not, but I will tell you what they are talking about. They are talking about jobs. They are talking about their own jobs. They are talking about their kids' jobs. And they are talking about their grandkids' jobs. That is what they want. Whether they are small businesses or not, they want to hear their government, their parliament, talking about them. They do not want to hear about trickle-down economics. They do not even talk to me about that. What they want to hear about is lowering the company tax rate, easing red tape, making sure that they can buy capital equipment and making sure that there is going to be job security. That is what they talk about. They do not talk about all this highfalutin economics stuff that the member for Fenner writes in his op-eds. They do not talk about that. What they do talk about is jobs.

That is why this policy, this bill, is so important, and I just do not why you do not get that. I just do not know, Member for Kingsford Smith, why you do not understand that, because it is about jobs. It is about making sure there is job security for the future, making sure that our small businesses, whether they are in your great electorate—and it is a great electorate; I know it is a great electorate. I know there are some fine constituents in your electorate. I know they do not all vote for my side of politics—I do know that. But even those who do not vote for our side of politics understand how important small business is. They understand that when you ease the tax rate for small businesses they employ more people, when you ease conditions for small businesses—as in red tape, as in bureaucracy, as in green tape, as in compliance, as in all the paperwork—they get on with the job of employing more Australians, whether it is in Kingsford Smith, whether it is in the Riverina and the Central West or whether it is in Capricornia, Gippsland, Rankin or McMahon; it does not matter. But they understand that it is all about jobs, not necessarily about trickle-down economics but about jobs.

That is the crux of this plan today. It is about good jobs, secure jobs, more jobs—good, secure and more jobs—because that is what this government is absolutely committed to: providing the economic conditions for our small businesses to get on with the task of repairing the economy.

Mr Stephen Jones interjecting

Mr McCORMACK: Member for Whitlam, I do not know why you are standing up. You have not got the floor, and in your seat you should also be backing small business. You are pretty good at putting out media releases about regional Australians when you do not quite understand, but I tell you what—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr McCORMACK: that is all you people ever do. It is what you did in government. It is what you are doing now in opposition. It is bureaucracy by press release. That is what you are doing.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Rob Mitchell ): I remind the minister that his remarks go through the chair.

Mr McCORMACK: Yes, Mr Chair, and certainly this small-business tax cut is so crucial. It is so crucial for our 3.2 million small businesses. It has a threshold up to $10 million turnover to allow a lowering of the company tax rate to 27.5 per cent. That is a company tax rate that will enable them to employ more Australians, to give that young Australian a go, to give that older Australian a crack at perhaps their first job in decades.