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Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Page: 12261

Goods and Services Tax


Mr WOOD (La Trobe) (15:09): My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer advise the House of any recent government modelling on changes to the GST?


Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (15:09): I really do thank the honourable member for that question. It does come as a surprise! Last night, there I was quietly eating my dinner when I saw on TV that the journalists from Canberra were referring to Treasury modelling on increases to the GST. I thought, 'Treasury modelling on increases to the GST?' So I rang Treasury and asked, 'Did we ask you to model changes to the GST?' They said, 'No, Treasurer, we didn't.' But I kept hearing about this Treasury modelling on the GST. I looked everywhere. I looked under the table. I looked in the drawers. I went to the gym. I thought it might be hiding in the physio's. It was not there. I went everywhere. Lo and behold! I found it in the press gallery: 'Oh, Treasury modelling on increases to the GST.' I thought, 'This must be a comprehensive document.' It is one page long! It is a dramatic page, in fact: one page with half of it blacked out. Up the top it says, 'Scenario 3: Increase GST to 12½ per cent.' I thought, 'Hang on! What happened to scenario 1? What happened to scenario 2, scenario 4, 5, 6, 7?' I asked the Treasury, 'Where did this come from?' They said, 'We did it for the previous Labor government.'

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There will be silence on my right!

Mr HOCKEY: I said to the Treasury, 'Give me a copy.' I thought it was a legitimate question; I am the Treasurer. I said, 'Give me a copy of that Treasury modelling commissioned by the previous Labor government for increasing the GST.' They said, 'Treasurer, we can't. Under convention we cannot release that information.' I said, 'How am I going to get it?' They said, 'You can ask the Labor Party to release all the modelling they did on increasing the GST.'

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There will be silence on my right.

Mr HOCKEY: I say to the Labor Party: release the modelling. We know the Labor Party's form. The carbon tax: 'There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead,' then they introduced a carbon tax.

An opposition member interjecting

The SPEAKER: You may not speak. Go back to your seat.

Mr HOCKEY: Now we know that the GST the Labor Party are so concerned about they modelled on not one but numerous occasions. They modelled increases in the GST. I table a letter to the shadow Treasurer to come forth to the Australian people and release all the modelling the Labor Party commissioned to increase the GST.

Mr Abbott: I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.