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Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Page: 5001

Budget


Mrs D'ATH (Petrie) (14:24): My question is to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation. Minister, how is the government supporting Australian families and businesses through sensible tax reform to spread the benefits of the mining boom?


Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (14:24): I thank the member for Petrie for her question. I know she is a tireless advocate for the people of north Brisbane in her electorate of Petrie. This government understands the pressures that the patchwork economy is placing on Australian families and small businesses, and that is why we are determined to manage the economy to spread the benefits of the mining boom and to ensure that we keep our economy strong. And it is a strong economy; it is an economy that has been growing strongly. It is now seven per cent larger than it was before the global financial crisis hit. We have low unemployment, at 4.9 per cent, and contained inflation. We have a record pipeline of investment coming into this country and our public finances are amongst the strongest in the world. A AAA credit rating from all three major ratings agencies is something that was achieved under this government for the first time in our nation's history.

Not only are we determined to spread the benefits of the mining boom and manage the economy in the interests of working people but we are determined to do it whilst also cutting taxes. And we have been cutting taxes. Since we came to office we have delivered $47 billion worth of personal income tax cuts. And now we are delivering a new wave of tax reforms. We are tripling the tax-free threshold from 1 July, and that will mean one million Australians will not even have to lodge a tax return. We are delivering tax cuts to over seven million Australian workers. Over six million of them will receive $300 a year in a tax cut. This is real tax reform impacting on real people.

At the same time, we are delivering tax reform for small businesses. On the one hand we have introduced our instant asset write-off. We have also introduced measures that will be coming into effect shortly that will allow for the carry-back of losses. These are measures that underpin our approach to cutting taxes. But the best evidence that this is a low-tax government is our tax to GDP ratio. It is at 22.1 per cent in the coming year. How does that compare with previous governments? When the previous government left office it was at 23.7 per cent. In fact, it hit a record high of 24.25 per cent back when they were in government.

If we were taxing at those levels today, we would be bringing in an extra $33 billion in tax every year. We are a low-taxing government and they were a high-taxing government. And then we heard last week from the shadow Treasurer that he wants to scrap the tax cuts that we are about to introduce. He wants to scrap them, he wants to claw them back. The Australian people know that we support families and businesses. The opposition want to hike up taxes— (Time expired)


Mrs D'ATH (Petrie) (14:27): Madam Deputy Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. The minister has gone through what the government is doing to help people across the country. Minister, what does this mean for local communities like mine in Brisbane?


Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (14:28): I thank the member for Petrie. I know that she is interested in all of those people in her electorate who are benefiting from our government's efforts to cut taxes. When she comes into this place she has the 49,000 people in her electorate in mind—the people who will benefit from a tripling of the tax-free threshold. I know that she has got in mind the 3,000 people in her electorate who will not even have to put a tax return in and she is thinking about the 43,000 people in her electorate who will get a tax cut of more than $300 from 1 July. I know that she is also a very strong advocate of small business in her electorate. There are 12,300 small businesses in the electorate of Petrie that will be lining up on 1 July to take advantage of the instant asset write-off, where they will get an instant deduction on assets worth up to $6½ thousand.

I know the member for Petrie is not the only member representing the Brisbane area—it is the north Brisbane area, in her case—and interested in standing up for small businesses. Or, at least, so they sometimes say. I saw a quote that stated that small business is the nucleus of the Australian economy as the single greatest generator of jobs and opportunities in our economy, and that we must reward them and we must not punish them. That is what the member for Brisbane had to say. It is a shame she came into this place and voted against tax relief for the 33,000 small businesses in her electorate. (Time expired)