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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3273


Mr LYONS (Bass) (14:44): My question is to the Assistant Treasurer. How is the government building a stronger economy with responsible savings measures that chart a pathway back to surplus and why is it important that we build a fairer society by making sure families and businesses have access to vital services?

Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (14:45): I thank the member for Bass for his question. The budget handed down by the Treasurer last night set out a responsible plan to deliver a stronger economy by supporting jobs and supporting growth. But like all budgets, this budget involved a series of choices and since 2009 we have been making the choices to ensure that all of our new spending has been fully offset and in this budget we have set out $43 billion worth of savings measures. This budget outlines a 10-year plan to fund important investments to make our country a smarter and a fairer place, with investments in DisabilityCare Australia and investments in our plan for school improvement.

But another important choice that we have taken has been to ensure that everybody pays their fair share, and central to that is our package of corporate tax integrity measures, cracking down on loopholes where multinationals are able to shift their profits offshore and to avoid paying their fair share of tax here in Australia. We have done that because we do not think it is fair that those companies be able to avoid paying their fair share and shift the burden onto other businesses that are doing the right thing and shift the burden onto mums and dads and families and small businesses across this country. But shortly we will be able to hear from the opposition about what choices they are prepared to take and whether or not they are prepared to stand up and crack down on these loopholes. Every time we have brought forward integrity measures to close loopholes in the tax base, they have come into this place and they have opposed them, so if you do not crack down on the loopholes you have to jack up taxes on those that are already paying their fair share or you have got to start to cut to the bone. When it comes to cutting to the bone I think we know what we are in for. At this stage of the cycle it might well be Downton Abbey Tony that we all see; that is what we will see.

The SPEAKER: The minister will refer to members by their appropriate title.

Mr BRADBURY: If they ever get the chance to get into government, we know exactly what we will see: what we have seen from Campbell Newman in Queensland. They will cut to the bone. They will cut pensions. They have already announced that. They will cut family payments. They will rip away the tax cuts that we have already delivered and that are in people's pockets and they will cut the Schoolkids Bonus. We believe in a fair system of taxation. We do not believe in allowing those that are ripping off the system to get away with it. We will take action and the Australian people will have a choice and that will be a choice between a government that has made responsible savings in order to invest in our nation and make it smarter and fairer, or going with an opposition that has no vision but a plan to cut to the bone.