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.
ABC News 24 2pm News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) You are watching ABC News 24. Hello, I'm Kim Landers. We Tony
now. The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has been speaking at a car dealership and we'll bring you his comments now.

It's refreshing to see that someone's actually listening to us. So thanks, like I said, for coming in. The flow-on effect of obviously these changes has a massive effect on our industry. And I suppose there has been a lot of covering in the - coverage in the media, but it affects anything with an FBT liability, company-run vehicles to all the trade-type vehicles. We have seen what's happened in the last, you know, in the last few weeks, especially within our fleet department. We have gone from a fleet department that has a run rate of about 25 vehicles per weeking and that's dropped right down to as low as one a week. So thank you, Tony. We appreciate you making the time to come out and see us, in obviously such a busy time. Thanks so much, mate. Thank you. It's good to be here at Toyota. It's good to be Joe Hockey, the Shadow Treasurer, with the candidate for deacon, our excellent candidate for deacon, born here, schooled here, educated here and got his first job here. He is deacon, and I'm very prout to have him as my candidate - proud to have him as my candidate. Thank you, Theo, for making us welcome, and thank you to your team. This is a crisis situation for many dealerships right around Australia, because, as you say, you've had a 50% drop in your fleet sales, perhaps a 30% drop in your overall sales, and an almost complete evaporation of novated lease sales since these fringe benefits tax changes were brought in. I want to make it absolutely crystal clear that this fringe benefits tax hit on company cars will not happen under a Coalition government. It will not happen under a Coalition Government, because we are serious about giving the Australian motor everyone
industry, manufacturers and everyone else involved in the motor industry, a fair go. We know that it's a tough sector. We know that it's hard to get people to spend right now, and we don't want to make anyone's life more difficult with the kind of knee-jerk thought bubble changes which we have seen all too many of from this Government. According to the industry, if this move is not reversed, we will see a 10% drop in sales across the board, we will see a 20% reduction in the sales of Australian-produced cars. This is a hit that the industry doesn't need. It's a hit on Australians, hard-working Australians, which they just don't need. If you are on $50,000 a year and you have a company car, this could mean a $1400 a year hit on you. If you are on $70,000 a year with a company provided car, this would be a $2,000 a year hit on you. And we are not talking here about merchant bankers driving PMWs- BMWs, we are talking about nurses, charity workers, sales people who are driving in many cases Toyotas, Hyundais, Holdens and Falcons - ordinary cars, not luxury cars, not high-paid people, we are talking about decent, ordinary Australians who serve to be looked after - deserve to be looked after by Government, not hit again and again and again by Government which all too often just doesn't know what it's doing. So I want to give the Australian people this assurance - you will not be hit by these fringe benefits tax changes if there is a change of Government on September 7. I'm going to ask Joe Hockey just to briefly add to these remarks.

Thanks very much, Tony. In the discussions a earlier, Theo said, "I really wish that the earlier, Theo said, "I just
wish that the Government would just recognise that it's just recognise that it's got this decision wrong, apologise and move on." It's so true in relation to these proposed changes to fringe benefits tax, which we will which we will not introduce. We will not proceed with them. 7 September is a new day of opportunity for the motor vehicle industry after the dark clouds of the last few weeks. And just as the Government has no capacity to apologise for it's mistakes in relation to FBT, clearly now the PM and the Treasurer have no capacity to apologise for lying yesterday about the Coalition. They have no shame. There is no sense of embarrassment, and yet three of their top public servants have called them out for deliberately trying to mislead the Australian people, about the Coalition's policies and costings. Mr Rudd should accept that he's been out. He should apologise, and he should move on. But unfortunately, Mr Rudd does not have it in his DNA to recognise that he's made a mistake, that he's told a lie and he should apologise. It's not the Coalition calling him out, it's his own public servants. It is unprecedented - unprecedented. And for the public servants to say that the Government was deliberately misleading the Australian people about information from Treasury and finance, is the most damning indictment you could have of an incumbent Government. So I'd say to Mr Rudd, and Mr Bowen, it's time to start telling the truth. Start being honest with the Australian people, enough is enough, please apologise for engaging this talk of fraud, and please apologise to the Treasury and the finance and the parliamentary budget office, all of who were so affronted by the behaviour of the PM and the Treasurer yesterday that in an unprecedented manner they put out their own distancing themselves from the

That was That was the Opposition That Leader Tony Abbott and Shadow