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Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Page: 12254

Goods and Services Tax

Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (14:45): My question is to the Prime Minister. Before the election, the Minister for Education said:

Tony Abbott has said it, I've said it, Joe Hockey has said it, Julie Bishop has said it, there will be no change to the GST.

Does the Prime Minister stand by this statement by the now Minister for Education?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:46): Of course I do. I absolutely stand by all of the pre-election statements that were made by me and that were made by my shadow ministers. There is no proposal—

Mr Dreyfus: So, you are ruling it out?

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs will desist, or leave! The choice is his.

Mr ABBOTT: There is a proposal by me that we have a mature, national debate about reforming the federation. That is my proposal. What I believe the Australian public are yearning for is an opportunity to consider the long-term national interest and to stop playing short-term politics. I think that the Australian public are looking to this chamber for some leadership. I think the Australian public are looking to both sides of this chamber for some consideration of the long term; for some consideration of the fact that we can do better. And we must do better if our nation is to be all that it can and should be in the years and decades to come.

There is only one government—only one national government in recent times—that has actually contemplated an increase in the GST, and that is the members opposite. They actually got it modelled! I happen to know that they were peddling around the press gallery last night what purported to be Treasury modelling of scenario 3, which was a 12½ per cent GST. So I say: if members opposite are honest and if members opposite want to be fair dinkum with the Australian people then table in this parliament the modelling that they got done in government. Table in this parliament the modelling that they had done in government for a 12½ per cent GST.

And that was not the only bit of modelling they got done; that was just scenario 3. Let's have scenario 1. Let's have scenario 2. Let's have scenarios 4, 5 and 6 as well! Members opposite cannot peddle this unsubstantiated scare if they are not prepared to be honest themselves. They are not prepared to be honest themselves and the only government in recent times that has considered an increase in the GST—

Mr Dreyfus: Nobody believes you!

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs will leave under 94(a)!

The member for Isaacs then left the chamber.

Mr ABBOTT: to the point that it actually got modelling done are the members opposite.

So I want a mature and rational debate over the long-term future of this country. I invite members opposite to join. The best way of joining Team Australia and doing the right thing by all of us would be to start by tabling that modelling.