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Capital Hill -

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Hill. I'm Lyndal Curtis. The Hello and welcome to Capital

debate begins in the Senate

this week on the Government's

mining tax and it looks like

Government will get it through

but it looks like it won't get

through the company tax cut for

medium and big business that

the mining tax helps fund. The Greens want the tax, the

company tax cut to only go to

small business. The coalition is opposing any company tax cut

funded by extra revenue from

today the mining industry. Also

today - in Question Time and just afterwards, the

just afterwards, the Opposition

started debating a law and

order issue effectively blaming

the Labor Government for what

the Opposition claimed was a

rise in illegal gun

importation. Joining me to

discuss the day are Labor MP Stephen Jones and Liberal MP

Luke Simpkin. Welcome to you both. Good to be with you.

Excellent. The mining tax and

the Greens decision to block

with the coalition the tax cuts for medium to big for medium to big business. I

never thought I would see the

day that the Liberal Party would

would join with the Greens to

vote against a tax cut for

business. That's what Mr

Abbott has announced today.

It will be a modest cut. We

took a 1.5% cut to the last

election. There will be a

modest cut we're taking modest cut we're taking forward

at the next election. What

you'll get under us are tax cuts without new taxes. Stephen

Jones, isn't this upside for

the Government? You get to

blame the Greens and the

coalition for not letting all

of your company tax cut through

but you get to keep some of the

mining tax revenue a and that helps build the budget

delivering the tax cut and surplus. We're committed to

committed to the entire committed to the entire MRRT package which is a simple idea

but a good one which most

Australians support. If you're Australians support. If

going through a mining boom you

want to spread the benefits of

that boom and ensure some of benefits exceed this generation

in the form of infrastructure,

superannuation payments, and in

the form of tax cuts to

businesses. We think that's

good economic policy. Every

good economic policy. Every

day that Tony Abbott opens his

mouth he releases more mouth he releases more policy

contradictions. This is the Liberal Party siding with Liberal Party siding with the

Greens against business for tax

cuts. Every day he opens his

mouth he odds to the $70

billion black hole he has to fill. Isn't it up to the

government to negotiate with

the people who helped it form

government, with the Greens, if

you want the tax cut for medium to big businesses to go through? We expect the support

of every member of Parliament that says they support business

in this country. The Labor

Party is standing up and saying

we support business. We support particularly small

business and delivering tax cuts for small businesses in

this country, but all business across this country delivering

tax cuts. You get the Liberal

Party day in day outstanding up

saying they are the party of business, and yet, when they

have the opportunity to put -

to walk the walk, not just talk

the talk, they're found

missing, adding once again to

the $70 billion black hole and

leaving business out in the cold. Luke, you

party that's long cold. Luke, you belong to a

party that's long advocated

lower tax cut. You took a

company tax cut to the last

election. You can be seeing to be siding with the Greens

against a company tax cut now?

There there are other things wrong with the mining tax,

Lyndal. This about fiscal

responsibility really. If you look at the forward estimates

there's $17 billion of

expenditure related to the

mining tax, $11 billion of

revenue being generated. This

tax is embedding a structural

responsibility it isn't and deficit for the future. Fiscal

that's exactly what this that's exactly what

government is known for. In the end, isn't it up to

end, isn't it up to the Government to come up with the

wants money to pay the company tax it

wants in can't you say yes we want company tax cuts to lower and it is up to the want company tax cuts to be

lower and it is up to the other

side to pay for it? We're on the

the record, 1.5% reduction in

company tax. Is that still the coalition policy? Tony coalition policy? Tony Abbott

today would only say he wanted

a modest company tax cut. He

seemed not to recommit himself seemed not to recommit

to the full 1.5%. Tony said

it today and we

it today and we are committed

to that tax cut. This is also

the tax cut that apparently was

meant to be from 1 July and yet

we're not going to see it. We

haven't even seen it come to

the Parliament yet. Have you

seen it come to the Parliament. You've seen it come to the Parliament in the form of MRRT

legislation. You guys voted

voted against it. The against it. The Liberal Party

legislation won't even go into

the Parliament for the company

tax cut until budget week. The revenue

revenue comes from the minerals

resources rent tax. The

is the difference between our revenue which supports it, this

side of politics and the

liberals, they run around the country promising everything country promising

that they can't afford. Day by

day every time they stand up

and open their mouths they add

in the budge which they cannot to the $70 billion black hole

fill without wiping out

thousands and thousands of

public sector jobs, thousands

and thousands of government

programs. It is the equivalent

of closing down Medicare for a year. That's what they're

talking about so they can stand

up and say we believe in those

things, but they've got to be

able to pay for it. I think

most Australians when they look

at the mining industry and see

they are making record profits,

record profits, it is only fair

that we share the benefits of

the mining boom. After all,

Australians own these resources

we should be sharing them now

to spread the benefits of the

mining boom and into the future

so that something is left

behind once the mining boom ends. I would say this is

ends. I would say this is the

third level of taxation. We've

already got royalties, we've

already got company tax, and

now the government wants to put in mining tax. It will

refund some of the royalties,

won't it. That's the $17 billion of expenditure Government

Government is talking about.

Only $11 billion of Only $11 billion of revenue coming in. They haven't got

the black hole. They can't get

a tax right, that's the

trouble. The issue is simple.

Do you support a tax cut for

gene Rinehart and Clive Palmer

or the 100,000 small businesses

in it country which are

struggling and need relief.

That's the simple issue. You

That's the simple issue. You

sided with Gina and climb. You have to wear the have to wear the consequences

of that. It sounds like Wayne

Swan being channelled here again.

again. The reality is that tax

is not in place. There's no

tax to be cut. We're

possessing that sort of tax

when it puts in those black

holes, the $6 billion of

expenditure over revenue and

government hasn't been able to

explain that. We'll move on.

While it was under fire in

Parliament today over the

company tax stance, the

Opposition tried to change the game focusing on the Government

- on its accusation the government Customs and Border Protection budgets and making it harder it harder for Customs and

Border Protection screen cargo for illegal for illegal weaponry. Their incompetence in stopping incompetence in stopping the boats flows directly into their incompetence into stopping the

guns. They can't stop the

boats and now we know, because

of what's happened in NSW

today, they can't stop the today, they can't stop the guns

either. It is a bit rich the Liberal Party talking about

cuts when they've got a $70

billion black hole. It is a

bit rich. It is a bit rich

when they talk about - The

Minister will be directly

relevant. When they want to sack 12,000 government

workers. Luke, I listened to both the speeches both the speeches from Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison in

the Parliament today and their

accusation that the increased

spending on border protection

on asylum seekers had led to

cuts to Customs other activity,

particularly air and sea cargo

screening. Is there any evidence

evidence that that is

happening? I think when happening? I think when you

look at since the 2007

election, 34 million-dollar

reduction in real terms of the

Customs budget. The focus

completely on the illegal boat

arrivals across the north

and so the Mandubarra pour, the

manpower has been moved to

other places and that's why

we've got a 25% reduction in the screening of sea cargo, 75%

reduction in air cargo. Just a year ago I was at the Fremantle

Port facility and a supervisor

tried to say that to me, that there were less there were less containers being checked at Fremantle Port

and he was stomped on by his superiors at the time. Stephen,

whether it is directly related

to the spending on asylum

seekers, the Government or not, the Government has been

trimming and trimming and trimming the trimming the public service

through its efficiency dividend. dividend. Isn't it possible government cuts have led to a

cut in screening and that

there's more illegal there's more illegal weaponry

coming in as a result? This

whole issue is both reckless,

ridiculous and irresponsible. Reckless because the way they

raised this issue in Parliament today undermines existing

investigations that are going

on. Obviously, they don't on. Obviously, they don't give any consideration to that.

They thought they'd make a

cheap political point and

hopefully a headline in the paper tomorrow, but it

undermines existing police

investigations. Reckless. Rid list - because what list - because what they're

trying to do is cover-up the

inadequacies of their mates in

the New South Wales Government.

Who are, after all, directly responsible for the police

force and the law and order issues. Irresponsible for this

reason. Here you have a party

that wants to rip $70 billion - that says it is going to be

able to find $70 billion. The 12,000 public servants won't

even touch the side of that black hole in their budget. You're already cutting

the public service, in fact,

more cuts each an year. Is it

possible those cuts have having

an Rupert Imhoff pact on the

ability of Customs to screen

cargo. There have been cuts

made in the public sector. The

other side are calling for

more. The other side is saying we're not cutting far we're not cutting far enough.

What is clear is that this What is clear is that this is

just clearly an attempt by the

Opposition to use a smoke screen to take attention screen to take attention away

from the fact that they are

embar hassed about they're not

backing the small business tax

cuts, their embarrassed on

behalf of their mates in the

New South Wales Government who

have the direct sphopsability. Let's assume they're right for a moment. Australia post

handles about 6.1 billion

parcels each year. 6.1 billion

items of mail each year R they seriously suggesting that we

should be screening each and

every one of those 6.1 billion

pieces of mail to see whether

there is some contraband. Clearly they Clearly they are's not. It is

nonsense and they know it is nonsense. Could I ask you both

Stephen Jones the government as

I said is trimming the public

service. Luke, the coalition

is proposing cuts to public

service. Should there be areas

of the public service that are exempt from cuts. First to

you, Luke. When you look at the

actual responsibilities across

the whole public service, there

should be line item checks should be line item checks on

basic expenditure and positions

to see what is essential to see what is essential and

what may not be essential. It

makes commonsense. In a future

where we've got to be fistly

responsible, we've got to look

at exactly these sort of

situations. I would situations. I would say if you're talking about the

Australian Defence Force, the uniforms, no. If you're talking about police and

Customs, no. But if we're

talking about the remainder of

the public service, the public service, everyone

should be called to account. Here's Here's the ridiculousness in the proposition. Luke, you

should know this because should know this because you

are a former Defence Force person, member of the Defence Force. You should know if you take a civilian out of the

Defence Department out of an essential job that needs to be

done, what you do is create a situation where a uniformed

person has to do that job, except at twice the

cost. Should there be areas

that. You should know better

than making those ridiculous statements. It is same with

the Federal Police, the same

with all of our frontline

agencies. I happen to think that we have a very good public

service which is doing a fantastic job under difficult circumstances and I don't think

really there's much more fat

there that can be cut out of

it. When you come to trimming,

the decisions that all

governments have to make is what programs are we going to

cut. There's no way you cut. There's no way you can deliver your $70 billion

savings that represents your

black hole without doing the

equivalent of closing down entire departments, the

equivalent of shutting down

Medicare, for a year. I've done

this before. I'll ask my

question again to you again Stephen. Should is there be

areas from the public exempt

from cuts? I respond in

exactly the same way. I think

the public service is doing the public service is doing it

tough at the moment. Don't

think there's a lot of capacity

for them to be trimming. Government asks from time to

time for areas to be looked at

for savings to be made, but we

are getting close to the situation where more public

service cuts can only be delivered by program cuts.

They know that. Which is They know that. Which is why

their $70 billion is such a fraud. That's where we'll fraud. That's where we'll to

leave it. Rod Simms and

Stephens Jones thank you very much for time. Excellent. And thank you

for joining Capital Hill for joining Capital Hill today. Be Be with us at the same time tomorrow. Goodnight. Closed

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