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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 298


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:40): What Senator Leyonhjelm ignores is the spending increases and tax increases that Labor locked into legislation before they lost government. What we have been doing is dismantling some of it—scrapping the mining tax and the carbon tax, for example, reducing income taxes for hard-working families, proposing at the last election to reduce taxes for businesses that employ Australians to 25 percent in order to ensure that we are internationally competitive. And, of course, we have reduced spending over the medium term in net terms by $250 billion. These are spending reductions not that we have proposed but that we have actually implemented.

The other thing I would say is that we have in our budget a tax-as-a-share-of-GDP cap of 23.9 per cent. Labor have no cap. They went to the last election promising more than $100 billion in higher taxes, which would have hurt the economy and cost jobs. Labor are still the socialist party. They are more socialist under Bill Shorten than they ever were.

The PRESIDENT: A final supplementary question, Senator Leyonhjelm.