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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1352

Capital Gains Tax


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:52): My question is to the Prime Minister. Has the Prime Minister's office, the Treasurer's office or the finance minister's office, or any junior Treasury minister's office, requested any advice or any modelling in relation to capital gains tax changes?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:52): The business of government is not going to be delved into by this fishing expedition. The reality is that, as the honourable member knows, Treasury officials—

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order.

Mr Burke: If we are not allowed to ask questions—

The SPEAKER: No, on a point of order.

Mr Burke: On a point of order on ministerial responsibility according to Practice: if we are not allowed to ask about the business of government, why are we here?

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs has been warned.

Mr TURNBULL: The government has been paying very close attention to the damage that would be caused by the capital gains tax proposals of the Labor Party and the impact they would have on investment and on incentives, and indeed so damaging would Labor's approach to capital gains tax be that we, recognising that, have actually gone further to provide exemptions from capital gains tax to encourage investment in early-stage companies. So the honourable member knows very well that Treasury officials look at a whole range of options, a whole range of studies. We get submissions from various parties, from various interest groups associated with the budget. And it would be remiss not to examine all of those proposals and to pay respect to them as well.

But the fact is that what we know is that the plan we took to the last election delivers more investment and more jobs. The plan that Labor took to the last election was to discourage investment, to raise taxes, to do nothing to encourage employment. Most reckless of all, their plan on energy is absolutely guaranteed to deliver the least reliable and the most expensive electricity. You do not need a Treasury official to model that; you have only got to look at South Australia. Their energy plan is guaranteed to deliver the least reliable electricity and the most expensive electricity, which is driving jobs away, discouraging investment and putting families at risk with higher and higher bills, and that is what Labor would deliver to the whole of Australia if they had their way. They do not have the competence; they do not care; they are filled with ideology, with a failure to put in place the measures to keep the lights on and ensure Australians can afford to pay their power bills, afford to invest and employ and drive those opportunities every Australian is entitled to aspire to.