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Transcript of doorstop interview: Family Fun Day, Cleveland, Queensland: 1 July 2006: Tax cuts.

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Wayne Swan MP Federal Labor Shadow Treasurer




SWAN: Over the last decade, Peter Costello has been collection a lot more in extra tax than he’s been handing back in tax cuts. If you take an average family, mum and dad, both on average earnings they’re paying $43 a week more than they were paying a decade ago. That’s what this independent research shows. This independent research from NATSEM also shows that singles and families earning $30,000 to $40,000 a year are also falling behind, more heavily taxed than they were a decade ago.

What this really shows is that Peter Costello has been taxing with both hands and handing tax cuts back with one hand. And many Australian families are well behind where they were a decade ago. So, when Peter Costello is out there slapping

everyone on the back today and saying what a jolly good fellow he is, they ought to look at this independent research because I think average Australian families know that Peter Costello is a very big taxer and his tax cuts are not giving all that he has taken from many Australian families.

JOURNALIST: Just in a nutshell Mr Swan, who are the big losers again?

SWAN: The big losers are inspirational middle income families where mum and dad both earn average wages. They’re $43 a week worst off than they were 20 years ago. Which is why they feel the impact of rising petrol prices and interest rates rises.

JOURNALIST: This research that NATSEM actually did only included up until 2001, can you explain that?

SWAN: No, this research goes further than that. This is research which is as contemporary as it possibly can be. It’s very important research because it shows that what Peter Costello has had to say is simply untrue.

JOURNALIST: There are accusations from the Labor side that it’s complicated which means that people will fall through the cracks and the complication make it a bad policy.

SWAN: Well Peter Costello runs an extremely complex tax system which has thousands and thousands of pages of tax law. But at the end of the day he has constructed system which is delivering the highest tax take to the Commonwealth in Australian history. Now, a lot of tax payers out there are worse off now in terms of their tax burden than they were 10 years ago. This research shows that what Peter Costello has been saying about his round of tax cuts is simply untrue. And it’s about time he came clean with the Australian people and admitted, not only that he’s a high taxing Treasurer, but that many families have fallen further behind in the last decade.

JOURNALIST: What do you say to those who actually those who will be better off?

SWAN: Well I think that is great and there are some winning in the system, but they are also having to cope with the indirect tax burden, the GST, the raising price of petrol and also raising interest rates. That is why there are many familles out there on middle incomes are struggling to get by, because the cost of living is increasing.

You see, Peter Costello’s tax burden is increasing at twice the rate that wages are raising. Peter Costello boast that wages are rising, what he does not tell you is that his taxation system is increasing at twice the rate as wages. That is why many people are falling behind.

JOURNALIST: And who are those biggest winners?

SWAN: Well the biggest winners are very income earners. In the last six budgets, someone on $150,000 a year has had a tax cut on $190 a week. Where as someone on $50,000 a year in six budgets has only received in total $20 a week. So, $20 a week for someone on $50,000 a year, $190 a week for someone on $150,000 a year in six budgets.

JOURNALIST: Mr Costello actually says that no-one is going backwards. You say some people are disadvantaged.

SWAN: No, this research proves conclusively that some families are going backwards. Where mum and dad receive average earnings, they’re $43 a week worse off than they were a decade ago. And singles and families on between $30,000 and $40,000 are going backwards. They’re worse off than they were 10 years ago.

JOURNALIST: Can you just clarify that research, the timeframe of it and when it was wrapped up?

SWAN: This research is contemporary and it includes the impact of the tax cuts that come in today, I July.