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Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Page: 1528


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (19:07): We have not undertaken the sort of modelling that Senator Whish-Wilson is asking about. Let me just remind him though that every Australian earning up to $18,200 pays no tax on those earnings, and any earnings above $18,200 are taxed at 19 per cent. Obviously, as the saying goes, you cannot give a tax cut to somebody who pays low tax; that is somewhat difficult. Obviously a range of Australians go through the very low income ranges for a range of reasons, including during their studies, at the beginning of their career and working their way through their career. The whole purpose here is to target an income tax cut towards Australian workers on average full-time wages; the whole purpose here is to provide an incentive and to make sure they are protected from the increase to the 37 per cent marginal tax rate.

I know that the Greens hate tax cuts. I know the Greens are the high-taxing party of Australia. The Greens are worse than the Labor Party when it comes to the level of taxation. We can debate this for the next five weeks, and we will still need to agree to disagree. You are not pursuing these questions because you will genuinely change your mind at the end of the answers that you receive, you are trying to prosecute a political case because you are against tax cuts for hard-working Australian families. Let us not try and play a game here. Let us not try to pretend that you are genuinely seeking information so that you can then go to your leader, Senator Di Natale, and say: 'I got it all wrong. I never meant to recommend to you that we should oppose these tax cuts. I never meant to recommend that the Greens vote against lower taxes. I actually change my mind because the answers I've received have helped ensure that I see the light.' We all know that is not true, that is not the case. You are running through a political exercise. You are wasting the Senate's time. You know where this will end up, because there is no support in this chamber for your proposition. There is no majority support in this chamber for your proposition.