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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2294


Mr TIM WILSON (Goldstein) (16:09): I've got to say the very tone and tenor of this motion is patronising. It's patronising from the very get-go, saying that the government is prioritising big business over 'ordinary Australians'. It's patronising because those opposite clearly don't have the most basic understanding of economics—that people pay taxes. So when you say, 'Reduce tax rates on businesses that are held and owned by people,' what you're actually saying is that people who have shares in publicly listed companies are not ordinary. I think that's a pretty spectacular proposition to put forward. When it comes down to it, we have hundreds of thousands of Australians who are self-funded superannuants, who stand on their own two feet and don't draw from the taxpayer for their basic livelihood. They are apparently, according to the modern Labor Party, not ordinary. I note everybody on the other side has basically left the chamber now. They are saying to pensioners who support their incomes with savings or shares that they also are not ordinary.

But perhaps the greatest hypocrisy in this motion comes from its mover, the shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen. He got up and moved this motion, so I thought, 'I wonder if he owns any shares and whether he, according to this motion, is not ordinary.' It's funny. If you go through his history, he was one of the people elected in 2004. You may recall that any member of parliament elected after 2004 no longer gets the defined benefit scheme for their superannuation. They have to hold an account with an industry fund, a retail fund or a self-managed superannuation fund to take care of their security. And, yes, Mr Bowen does have a superannuation fund. He does. So, if you and go check the register of interests, by his own standard he apparently is not ordinary, just like every other Australian he has slurred as part of this motion. In the end, it comes back to a basic principle of economics, which is that only people can pay taxes. There can be legal structures where people facilitate and organise economic activity, but only people pay taxes. By moving this motion, the shadow Treasurer has said that millions, if not all, Australians are not ordinary.

Now let's look at the simplistic lack of understanding from the shadow Treasurer and others in comparison to what this government is actually trying to do. It's actually trying to create jobs and opportunities to build this nation's future. It is actively working to try to make sure the investment necessary to build the economy is there in an increasingly globally competitive environment. It's actually delivering. It's actually creating the economic environment for the private sector to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. In fact, at the moment, we're talking about 1,100 jobs per day throughout the entire year of 2017. We had an annualised growth rate of 2.8 per cent, something that delivered enormous benefit to actual ordinary Australians. I say that without any sense of criticism, because ordinary Australians are the people who build this country. Ordinary Australians are the people who work, who save and who build their own future. Ordinary Australians are people, through their savings, who invest in this country, buy shares and find opportunities to create wealth for their families and their own security. Ordinary Australians are the people who actually benefit from the measures that are being implemented by this government. Ordinary Australians are the people who the Turnbull government is explicitly focusing on to make sure that people have those opportunities that those on the other side would rather deny. Instead, they're focusing not on ordinary Australians. What they're focusing on—and they always have and they always will—is the interests of the people who pay the salaries to stack their membership in the trade union movement. Ordinary Australians stand up against them and defy their interests.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Coulton ): Order! The time for this discussion has concluded.