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Transcript of doorstop interview of the Treasurer: Western Sydney Business Forum,\nCarlton Hotel, Church Street, Parramatta: 19 May 2005: Tax cuts.



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Treasurer Doorstop Interview

Western Sydney Business Forum Carlton Hotel, Church Street Parramatta

Thursday, 19 May 2005 3.05 pm

SUBJECTS: Tax cuts

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible)?

TREASURER:

The Commissioner of Taxation has today made an announcement that he is preparing two schedules for employers, one which will provide for our tax cuts announced in last week’s Budget and the second which will not provide for those tax cuts. So, the 850,000 Australian employers are now being given two sets of schedules, one with the tax cuts in, one with the tax cuts out. They don’t know which of those schedules to apply because Kim Beazley is engaged in a stunt to try and stop Australians getting the tax cuts that are due on 1 July. That stunt will not only delay all Australians receiving their tax cut, that stunt by Mr Beazley involves a great deal of confusion for 850,000 employers in this country. So I say to the Labor Party, give up this useless opposition, let Australians have their tax cuts. Give up this useless opposition which is causing confusion. Implement the Government’s tax changes so that all Australians can have tax relief on 1 July.

JOURNALIST:

Is it the case that the tax cuts could become law simply by the Tax Commissioner publishing them?

TREASURER:

No.

JOURNALIST:

So will the Government bring back the Senate on the 1st of July to pass the tax cuts?'

TREASURER:

There is no need to bring back the Senate, that would cost Australian taxpayers millions and millions of dollars.

JOURNALIST:

But you are accusing the Labor Party of denying the people of Australia their tax cuts. Couldn’t the Government bring them forward if they brought the Senate back on the 1st of July?

TREASURER:

No, there is no need to bring the Senate back and cost Australians millions and millions of dollars. These tax cuts can be implemented if Mr Beazley gives up his useless political stunt. Now, you had the Tasmanian Premier today come out and call on the Labor Party to pass the tax cuts, we had the same from the Western Australian Labor Premier, we have had the same from the Northern Territory Labor Leader, we have had the same from South Australian Labor Treasurer. The Labor Party around the country just like taxpayers around the country are calling on Mr Beazley to get out of the way, stop the stunt and let those tax cuts through.

JOURNALIST:

How concerned are you that small business is going to be inconvenienced by this tax issue?

TREASURER:

Well, Kim Beazley’s delaying tactics are now causing confusion for 850,00 businesses. 850,000 businesses have to know how much tax to take out on 1 July. They don’t know as of today. They have got one tax schedule which won’t have these tax cuts and they have another which will. Which one do they apply? It all depends on Mr Beazley’s blocking tactics. I say to Mr Beazley, get out of the way, listen to the Labor Premiers, listen to the people of Australia, let those tax cuts through, give Australians a tax cut they deserve.

JOURNALIST:

How long do you see tax cuts remaining in limbo?

TREASURER:

Well, they will remain in limbo either until Mr Beazley gives up this stunt and allows Australians to have their tax cuts or until this Senate passes out of existence. Beazley cannot stop these tax cuts. All he can do is he can delay them and cause confusion. You won’t stop them Mr Beazley, Australians will get their tax cuts, get out of the way and let them have them.

JOURNALIST:

But why not bring the Senate back on 1 July (inaudible)?

TREASURER:

There is no need. This Senate, this Senate ought to pass the Government’s Budget. This is a Government’s Budget which cuts

taxes. Why would a Senate which is going out of existence on the 30th of June, which won’t even be there on the 1st of July, vote against tax cuts for every Australian? Okay, thanks.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2000