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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1349

Capital Gains Tax

Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (14:38): My question is to the Treasurer. On Tuesday, the Treasurer called for Labor to come up with our own alternative revenue measures. Yesterday, the Treasurer could not recognise Labor's reforms to capital gains tax as exactly that. Was the Treasurer or his office responsible for the leaks to The Australian Financial Review today, or was it the Prime Minister's office or his other opponents within the cabinet?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:39): The only party represented in this parliament that wants to increase taxes and, in fact, is itching to increase taxes is the one that sits opposite.

Mr Brian Mitchell interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Lyons has been warned.

Mr MORRISON: The Labor Party are the party who want to increase taxes. There is a reason why they want to increase taxes and we saw it when they were in government. They want to increase taxes because they cannot bring themselves to ensure that governments can live within their means. On this side of the House, we are committed to ensuring that we spend every taxpayer dollar sensibly and fairly in a way that protects future generations and delivers the important services that are necessary, that Australians rely on. We have to make sure it is affordable and sustainable and responsible. Those opposite gave away on that pledge a long time ago, and we saw it at the last election.

At the last election, from the shadow Treasurer, assisted by the then shadow finance minister who actually sacked himself in that portfolio after the last election, we saw a policy which was going to increase taxes, increase the deficit and increase debt and increase spending. That requires quite a level of determination, if you are determined to the ruin the finances of this country. This side of the House will not indulge in that sort of fiscal recklessness. What we are doing is ensuring we take the pressure off households. We are going to take the pressure off households whether it is by our policy on child care or particularly by securing energy affordability. Those opposite are on a very reckless path, which would see Australians pay more for everything, particularly for energy—it feeds into every single layer, whether it is the household budget or the business budget.

What they are putting forward are higher prices on electricity and higher prices on child care. And by the reckless policies of refusing to understand how the housing market works, they also want to inflict that sort of pain on Australians who are trying to buy homes as well. Also, they are trying to do it to those who rent properties. On average, around 20 per cent of the incomes of those who rent properties goes on their rent. Those opposite want them to pay higher rents. One of the things we have in this country, and we have had some success with it, is trying to avoid the sorts of excessive rents that we see. But there are many Australians who still struggle with their rents, and the policies of those opposite we know will just drive up rents. That is why they are reckless.