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Thursday, 21 June 2018
Page: 48

Income Tax


Senator CHISHOLM (Queensland) (14:12): My question is to the Minister for Finance, Senator Cormann. Yesterday Senator Hanson sided with the Turnbull government to give herself a tax cut of $7,000 a year. Did the minister explain to Senator Hanson that 95 per cent of the benefit of the stage 3 income tax cuts will go exclusively to the top 20 per cent of income earners, while 75 per cent of taxpayers will get no benefit at all?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:12): The Labor Party just can't handle the fact that the Senate has voted in support of working families across Australia getting income tax relief. What Senator Hanson understands and what all of those crossbench senators who supported our proposed income tax relief for hardworking Australians understand is that somebody who earns $200,000 a year—that is, about seven times as much as somebody earning $30,000 a year—pays 30 times as much tax. So it's seven times as much revenue and 30 times as much tax.

Let me make another point. Under our reforms, after they've been fully legislated, the proportion of revenue generated from those Australians who earn so much that they are in our top income tax bracket will continue to increase from about 30 per cent now to 36 per cent by 2024-25. In fact, like how the top 20 per cent of income earners today are responsible for more than 60 per cent of income tax revenue generated in Australia, do you know what the situation will be at the end of 2024-25? You will still have 20 per cent of top income earners being responsible for about 60 per cent of the income tax revenue generated by government.

I know that the Labor Party hates aspiration. It hates it when people are trying to get ahead. It wants everybody to stay poor so they continue to vote Labor. The Labor Party wants to keep everybody equally poor. The Labor Party is for equality of outcome where everybody is equally poor. We are for equality of opportunity, where everybody has the opportunity to get ahead and where everybody will be better off as everybody strives to get as far ahead as they possibly can, because that lifts the whole economy and it lifts opportunity for all Australians.


Senator CHISHOLM (Queensland) (14:14): I ask a supplementary question. Only 700 taxpayers in Longman will see the full benefit of Senator Hanson's decision to support stage 3 of the Turnbull government's income tax scheme, while 10,000 taxpayers in Wentworth will see the full benefit. Did the minister explain to Senator Hanson that she was delivering for the big end of town in Sydney and Melbourne?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:15): Every Liberal and National Party senator and every crossbench senator who supported this very important reform was very aware that the vote that we took today was a vote in support of working families across Australia. All working families across Australia wanting to get ahead are receiving a tax cut as of today because of the decision of the Senate. The Senate has locked in income tax relief for all hardworking Australians who pay tax. That is a great day for them.

The Labor Party can try and run their Longman by-election campaign here through the Senate. Good luck to you. Do you know why we're having a Longman by-election? It is because the Leader of the Labor Party, Mr Shorten, lied to the Australian people, lied to the Australian people about the fact—

The PRESIDENT: Order!

Senator CORMANN: I didn't call him a liar.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Cormann, I thought that crossed the line. Could you withdraw that, please.

Senator CORMANN: I withdraw.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

Senator CORMANN: You know why we're having a by-election in Longman? It's because the Leader of the Opposition misled the Australian people about the supposedly amazing due diligence processes, the vetting process, of the Labor preselection process. He knew that they were not eligible, and he stood by them anyway.

Senator Jacinta Collins: I would ask that he withdraw the—

The PRESIDENT: I missed the phrase.

Senator Jacinta Collins: 'Deliberately misled' is what he said.

Senator Cormann interjecting

Senator Jacinta Collins: You did so. You should check the Hansard.

The PRESIDENT: I will check the Hansard. I did not catch—

Senator Jacinta Collins interjecting

The PRESIDENT: All right, I will check the Hansard, Senator Collins. There's some difference over the exact words. I didn't catch it. I will check. Senator Chisholm, a final supplementary question?














Senator CHISHOLM (Queensland) (14:16): Yes, indeed. Can the minister confirm that Senator Hanson voted against Labor's plan to almost double the tax cut for 63,000 taxpayers in Longman?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:16): What I can confirm is that every Liberal and National Party senator and every crossbench senator who supported our plan proudly voted against your plan to increase the tax burden on Australian families by $70 billion. We, the Senate, decided not to support your $70 billion tax hike on Australian working families.

That is, of course, only part of your tax hike that you would impose on the Australian people if you were elected to government. You want to put your hands into the pockets of retirees. You want to put your hands into the pockets of small and family business. You want to put your hands into the pockets of working families. You want to increase the tax burden across Australia by more than $200 billion. If you were in a position where you could do this, it would hurt the economy, it would hurt families and it would cost jobs. Bill Shorten stands for an agenda which would lead to less investment, lower growth, fewer jobs, higher unemployment and lower wages. We stand for stronger growth, more jobs and higher wages.