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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1339

Capital Gains Tax


Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (14:08): My question is to the Treasurer. In question time on 29 February last year the Treasurer said that any increase to capital gains tax would be 'one big fat tax on investment' and a 'punishing tax on investment'. Given the Financial Review reports today that the government will increase capital gains tax on property, how can this Liberal government provide any economic leadership when the Treasurer constantly contradicts himself?


Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:08): The only party in this parliament that has a policy to introduce capital gains tax is those opposite.

Ms Plibersek interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney will leave under 94(a) and the member for Wakefield is warned.

The member for Sydney then left the chamber.

Mr MORRISON: The only party who is represented in this chamber that has a policy to introduce capital gains tax is those opposite—and they took it to the last election and they were rejected at that election. They were rejected absolutely at that election. What we are doing on this side of the House is focusing on the issues that are impacting not only on household budgets but also on business budgets. The policies of those opposite—whether it is on capital gains tax, whether it is on negative gearing, whether it is on other taxes they want to increase and impose further burdens on Australian businesses and households—are ripping away the affordability that is presently there and seeking to be provided for by this government.

But I am reminded about contradictions by those opposite. The Prime Minister has already referred to the stunning interview given by the Leader of the Opposition—and I will spare you all of the ums, the its, the ups, the bahs, the wells, the I don't knows and all the rest of it, as he sought to look through the fog of whatever it was that he was trying to say yesterday. This lot are led around in the dark in this fog of ideological opposition to sensible policies to deliver affordable energy for this country—and we saw that fog of uncertainty and that fog of ideology clouding the mind of the shadow Treasurer.

What worries me about the shadow Treasurer is that he is supposed to be the voice of economic sense and credibility on that side of the House. That was on full display with Mr Speers last night as he sat there trying to 'decrypt the code', as the Prime Minister said, with the member who was before him on that day. The problem with this shadow Treasurer is that he cannot stand up to this Leader of the Opposition, who is hell-bent on a cynical populist path. He is more left wing now than the French Socialist government in opposing company tax cuts, which he once wrote about, once believed in and once tried to achieve but will never support when it is not put forward by himself.