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Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Page: 4184


Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (13:08): It is a pleasure to stand to speak on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Savings Fund Special Account Bill 2016. Firstly, I come to this debate with a little bit of a vested interest. I have discussed this in other debates on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. I am not going to go over those issues again, but there is no-one in this House who wants more than me to see the National Disability Insurance Scheme fully funded and operational to give our kids, our teenagers and all people in our society who are afflicted with disability a better go. It is not only for those people but for their carers as well. I see the mental strain on carers of people with disabilities as one of the most difficult issues that we need to tackle in our society.

I was hoping that I could come into this chamber and that we could have this debate above politics. Unfortunately, we have seen the contributions from the Labor members—the member for Jagajaga and the member for Bendigo—dragging this debate down into a partisan political debate, which is very disappointing.

It may come as a surprise to the member for Bendigo, who gave a wonderful speech about how the NDIS was fully funded and how Labor, as the previous government, increased the Medicare levy by half a per cent. I do not think the member for Bendigo understood the finances of this. We know that when this is fully rolled out we will be giving extra care to 460,000 Australians under this scheme. The estimated cost is $22 billion. That is not a one-off hit; it is $22 billion every year. But the half a per cent increase in the Medicare levy that the member for Bendigo said this was going to be funded by raises only $3.3 billion. Only around 15 per cent is raised by the Medicare levy. This is just typical of what we see from the Labor Party. They come in here and try to lecture the coalition on finances and budgets and claiming that the Medicare levy funds the NDIS when we know it funds only 15 per cent.

We have seen more of that today and we saw it yesterday. We have seen the Gonski reforms that they were going to fund. That was all going to be funded by increases in the tobacco tax—that is what they said. We found out late yesterday that they have made a $19½ billion mistake. Do you know what they call it, Mr Deputy Speaker? 'A rounding error.' These are the people who want to come in here and lecture the coalition government about how to fund this most important reform. We have seen it before. Four years ago a Labor Treasurer sat in that seat. He stood up on budget night and he said:

The four years of surpluses I announce tonight are a powerful endorsement … of our policies.

He went on:

This budget delivers a surplus this coming year, on time … after that, strengthening over time.

…   …   …

The surplus years are here.

That is what they said. Now they come in here and have the hide to lecture us when it comes to the accounting of this scheme.

Let's go through some of the numbers to get to that $22 billion. There is existing disability funding which will be redirected to the NDIS, which is estimated at about $1.1 billion. On top of that, there will be a redirection of funding which is currently provided to the states for specialist disability services, and that is another $1.9 billion. That takes us to $3 billion. On top of that, we have the Medicare levy of $3.3 billion, so that takes us to $6 billion. We need $22 billion. Even assuming that the states come up with half of that, the Commonwealth needs another $5 billion worth of funding.

There are only a few ways that money can be raised. Contrary to what members that sit on the other side think, Mr Deputy Speaker, you cannot just turn the printing presses on and print money out. We cannot continue to borrow money. We are going on 10 years of budget deficits. We cannot continue. It is completely unsustainable. Somebody who is on $80,000 will pay about $625 this financial year in interest on the debt—that is on the interest only. In fact, if we did not have the debt that was run up through the reckless and wasteful spending of the previous Labor government, which blew billions of dollars on pink batts, wasted billions on overpriced school halls, had to spend extra billions on their failed water protection policies and sent $900 cheques out to all and sundry, including those who were deceased and those who were living in New Zealand, if we had not had that reckless fiscal financial management the interest that we are now paying on the debt could fund the NDIS in full. But we have that debt to pay. And we know that next year someone on average male full-time earnings will pay from their taxes $700, just on the interest on that debt. It will be more next year and more the year after.

We cannot fund the NDIS from borrowed money. We must fund it in a sustainable way, and there is only one way to do that. That way is from the taxes of the hardworking people, the wealth creators, of this nation. Yet what we see put forward by members of the Labor Party are policies that attack those very wealth creators that we expect to raise the money and the wealth of this country to pay for the NDIS. We want to see and we need more investment. But what do we see the Labor Party proposing? It is proposing a 50 per cent increase in capital gains tax. How will it encourage investment and wealth creation to increase the tax on capital gains by 50 per cent? It is often wrongly said that when people pay their capital gains tax they get a discount of 50 per cent. That is not correct. The previous Howard and Costello government changed the arrangements for capital gains tax where you did not make an adjustment for inflation, because you do not make any capital gains if that is all eaten away by inflation. We changed that in the previous Howard and Costello government. But increasing capital gains tax attacks the wealth creators.

We have seen also Labor's brilliant scheme to abolish negative gearing. It is an attack on investment and wealth creation also. It is not just housing on which they will abolish negative gearing; it is everything. Anyone who wants to start up a small business and take a risk—exactly what we want if we are to create wealth in this country—and suffers a loss would no longer be able to negatively gear that against wages and salaries. Yet if you are a wealthy investor and you have money from other investment income, you can negatively gear the losses from one business activity or one investment against your other investment income. So they are punishing the very middle class of this country who want to strive and create more wealth.

We saw Labor's attack on the middle class and the workers and the wealth creators with its Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. What an outrageous scheme, to place those people who are not in a union at a competitive disadvantage to price them out of the market. What an outrage. We know that Labor plans to bring it back. If Labor gets back into office it is going to bring back the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, and the 30,000 truckies that are on our roads today are operating in fear that they will be sent to bankruptcy if this mob come to office.

Mr Zimmerman: They don't care.

Mr CRAIG KELLY: The member for North Sydney is 100 per cent correct. They do not care. It is all about being perceived to be doing good, not doing good. Then we have them wanting to bring back the wonderful carbon tax.

Mr Stephen Jones: Mr Deputy Speaker, a point of order on relevance: as much as I am enjoying the journey of the member, at some point in time he is going to address the bill that is before the House. It beggars belief that any of the matters he has dealt with over the last five minutes go anywhere near the subject matter of the bill before the House.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Goodenough ): There is no point of order. Please continue.

Mr CRAIG KELLY: The member for down the South Coast, the workers down the South Coast—

Mr Stephen Jones: Throsby!

Mr CRAIG KELLY: that he represents—this bill is all about how we are going to fund the NDIS. Where is the money going to come from? You may think that you just have to turn the printing presses up or go out and sell more government bonds and put the future generations of this country into greater debt to finance things. That is not how the economy works. That is not how government works. I am going through the things they are proposing, the reasons why and the things that we need to do to create the wealth in this country needed to pay for the NDIS gap that we have, because the Medicare levy at the moment funds only $3.3 billion out of $22 billion.

They plan to bring back their carbon tax under the name of an ETS. That will put up the price of electricity. Higher electricity costs in this country means fewer jobs. It will destroy jobs in this country. It will destroy wealth. There will be pensioners who will struggle to pay their electricity bills in the winter because this mob over here want to put up electricity prices. That is their plan.

The other thing that will destroy wealth creation in this country is our inability to bring back the Building and Construction Commission. We need a construction industry in which people can invest their money and know they will not be victims of union thuggery and extortion. Yet what do we hear from the other side? We hear whinging, because we know that they are the mere puppets of the union movement. That is all they are. They want to do the bidding of the union movement. As the member for North Sydney said, they do not care.

Ms Brodtmann: Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order on relevance. What on earth does this have to do with the NDIS?

Mr CRAIG KELLY: I am happy to take that interjection. Again, the member for Canberra simply fails to realise that we cannot fund the NDIS by printing money. We cannot fund the NDIS by firing up the printing presses or by borrowing more money. The way we have to fund this NDIS is through the wealth creators of this country. I am glad that you are here and I am glad that you are listening.

Mr Stephen Jones: Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There is a difference between a point of order and an interjection. The member for Canberra has raised a point of order, which you, as yet, have not ruled on. It is the same point of order that I have raised. He really is testing your patience, Mr Deputy Speaker. At some point in time he is going to have to address the bill before the House.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please continue, Member for Hughes, but please be relevant.

Mr Zimmerman: On the point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: he is being relevant because he is talking about the economic conditions that are going to be vital to be able to support a scheme like the NDIS. I think it is entirely in order for him to be talking about the government's economic strategy necessary for those preconditions.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please continue, Member for Hughes.

Mr CRAIG KELLY: It simply shows how completely out of touch you guys are. You do not understand the basics—that the government itself does not have the money. The only way that we in this chamber get money to spend is through the wealth creation of the hard working people of Australia. You seem to think that there is some magic pudding out there that we can use to fund all this. We can have all the goodwill we want in the world, but it is the wealth creators of this nation who will create the funds— (Time expired)