Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Interview with Finance Minister, Penny Wong M -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) MRRT. Which is why tax experts

like Scott Grimley will be in losses

high bhands - demand over the

next few months. To discuss tax

and other money matters I was joined early by Finance

Minister Penny Wong. Welcome to

the program. Good to be with

you again. You've got the

mining tax through, a measure

of great substance according to

the Treasurer, but at some

cost. Will you be materially

changing the Treasury forecast

of $10.6 billion from the MRRT

over the first 3 years in the

upcoming budget? We will update

our figures in the usual way in

the budget and any subsequent

updates but I would say this,

it is an historic reform. It's

the first time we've got this

through the parliament, a reform that's about spreading

the benefits of the boom,

delivering, using the higher

profits of profitable miners,

making sure they pay a

reasonable rate to the

Australian people and through

that funding cuts to the

company tax system, plus

investing in things like

superannuation for working

Australians. A very good

reform. But I guess the

question is just how much lower

the tax take is going to be.

Commodity prices could be a lot

lower, you have the high

Australian dollar, you've got

the State royalty issues and I

see the Minerals Council of Australia insisting they never

agreed to the projections and the numbers can't be added up

for you? The revenue projections are projections from the Treasury, the same people who advised Peter

Costello. This is a

profits-based tax and you're

always going to see some

fluctuation in revenue. Is that

likely to be a material change downwards? What

downwards? What I would say to

you is we have factored in, our projection s into the budget

which shows the budget coming

back to surplus in 12-13,

unlike the Opposition which

refuses to cost any of its

policies. It is a tax which is

going to deliver a variable

revenue though and I guess the

concern from some is on the

spending side things like your

your superannuation guarantee and

your tax cuts they are ongoing

fiscal commitments. What's

going to happen when that

mining revenue does reduce or

dry up, as it inevitably

will? The sorts of policies

you've outlined cuts to the

company tax rate and investment

in superannuation, they are

good economic policy, opposed

by the Opposition, but they're

good. They're good for the

economy, good for the savings

rate and good for the company

sector and small business. I

guess the issue is you're not

matching like with like. You're

raising from a tax that could

rise and fall and your

commitments on an ongoing

basis, potentially in perp tuty

are going to be there as hard commitments? And unlike the

Opposition, we have factored those commitments into our

budget bottom line, which shows

the budget coming back to

surplus in 12-13 and

continuing. Alright, well it

looks like you've got a

2-tiered 2-tiered tax coming up, so much

for the promised tax cut for

bigger businesses? Well, can I

say this is something Mr Abbott really has to answer some

questions about. I mean this is questions

a Liberal leader who is saying

he will seriously line up with

the Australian Greens to kill a

company tax cut. But is it less

the position that Mr Abbott has

put himself in and the position

that the Labor Government, the

bed that you have made,

Minister, is actually with the

Greens and it's the Greens this

time that are saying no. Come

on, Ticky, no, I don't agree

with that. That is, with

respect, that is the spin that

Mr Abbott wants to put but we

will vote for a company tax cut

just as we voted for the MRRT

and small business tax breaks

which were included. Let me

suggest to you that it's not

just tax cuts which is the issue, it's the carbon tax as

well obviously but it is your

compromising with the Greens

that is of great concern to the business community and no amount of playing small business off with billionaires

or announcing coag business

forums is really going to

change that from business's

point of view. But we haven't

compromised with the Greens on

this issue. Let's remember - No, you certainly haven't. Precisely, we are

saying no, we've said no to the

Greens when it comes to their

position on the company tax. As

a result you can't deliver the

cut for big business? Come on.

You're telling me that we

should just say, you know,

everyone in Australia should

say Tony Abbott's just allowed

to say no to everything even if

it's in the national interest

and we're not going to

criticise him for standing with

Bob Brown. Penny Wong, Glenn

Stevens yesterday said the high

Australian dollar should help

the Government. He said, I

quote, "At the margin this has

to make the task of enduring fiscal soundness a little

easier", do you agree with

him? Well, I'm the Finance

Minister and I'm the Finance

Minister at a time when we've

seen a lot of downgrading in

government revenue forecasts.

It's about $140 billion over

this period since the GFC,

that's a lot of money we've had

to find in order we en - ensure

we remain on track to bring the budget back to surplus next

year. I might take that as a

no. I respect him greatly. All

I can say is this is not an

easy task but one we're determined, unlike the Opposition, to engage in

because we think a surplus is

the right thing for the

economy. And finally, Minister,

Bill Shorten, your colleague,

announced a 1-year delay in the

FOFA legislation in the last

week. Now - and I'm thinking in

particular of things like the

opt in rules. Isn't this a sop

to some in the industry who

don't want any change? No, I

think Bill laid out the reasons

for that when he spoke about

this. This is a very

substantial set of reforms. I

think very important reforms

about ensuring that Australians

get the best sort of financial

advice but obviously there's a

transition which has to occur

from where we are to where

we're going and Mr Shorten has

provided, I think a sensible

transitional path. You have

Independents like Rob Oakeshott

who are not the slightest bit

interested in that, it gives

them the opportunity to put up more resistance, I

guess? People are going to have

different views about this but

when you perform people want

you to go faster and people

want to go slower and we have