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Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Page: 347


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance) (17:44): Let's be very clear. The government's preference is to implement and to legislate the measure as introduced, which is Labor's measure. And if Senator Carr prefers Labor's measure, which is to remove the additional tax incentives for R&D for businesses generating more than $20 billion in assessable income per year—if that is his preference—tell us now, and the government will be joining with Labor to pass Labor's budget measure. Now, if Labor is not prepared to do this, then, quite frankly, the shadow minister should get out of the Senate's way and let the Senate deal with this legislation the way the Senate wants to deal with it.

The government accepts that we do not have the numbers in this chamber, and the government accepts that we are not able to get our preferred methodology through the Senate. What we have done is accept a request that was made by the crossbench for some adjustments, and I have explained on the record, ad nauseam now, how those changes will impact. And it is absolutely right to say that the fiscal impact, the beneficial impact on the budget bottom line, will be broadly similar. The number of companies impacted will be broadly similar. There will be some differences, because there is an additional fairness protection putting businesses generating most of their profits in Australia on an equal footing with businesses generating some of their profits in Australia but more profits overseas—put them on an equal footing. We think that is fair. We have accepted it. It is not our amendment; it is the Palmer United Party amendment. But the government is prepared to accept it. But if the Labor Party is telling us that they prefer their original budget saving, we are all ears. We are quite happy to deal with it very quickly. If Senator Carr is telling us now that he likes the budget saving that former Prime Minister Gillard and former Treasurer Swan put forward, as part of a government that he was a minister in, then let's do it.