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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2264

Taxation


Mr TIM WILSON (Goldstein) (14:12): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the budget is fully funding the government's enterprise tax plan as well as supporting critical infrastructure that will help our economy grow? Is the Treasurer aware of any alternative approaches?


Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:13): I thank the member for Goldstein for his question. Last night, we saw a bit more of the inspiration that Labor are seeking and finding into how they're driving their economic policies. Last night the member for Scullin got up in the adjournment debate. He was revelling in the latte left's new custodian status of economic policy in the Labor Party. He was boasting how Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders were now what was inspiring the Labor Party and that's why voters in Batman should be voting for the Labor Party and the Corbyn-Sanders ticket there. It's no longer Hawke and Keating; it's Corbyn and Sanders who are driving economic policy in the Labor Party!

We know that the shadow Treasurer's excuse that he uses around the place to hide his backflip, his contradiction, his turning of his back on his previous position on company taxes, is that the tax cuts are unfunded. The Parliamentary Budget Office set this straight when they pulled the rug out from under the shadow Treasurer's argument when they stated:

The fact that the budget baseline is improving is reflected in the most recent MYEFO … and … that includes the company tax cuts.

For the benefit of the deputy leader opposite, that means it's fully funded. Today the Secretary to the Treasury equally pointed this out very clearly when he said of the tax cuts:

We have put the … tax cuts, obviously, in the forward estimates. We have also put them into our estimates for the longer term. They're fully funded …

That is from the Treasury secretary.

We know that responsible budgeting requires you to fully fund the things that you're doing, and that's what we've done in our budget. But there is another thing that you also have to do. The shadow Treasurer has raised this issue of underfunded commitments. The PBO, very importantly, pointed out something else this week. Senator Smith asked the PBO whether the Labor Party had booked the savings from the full reversal of the company tax cut yet had still blown out the budget by $16 billion at the last election. The PBO said, 'That is correct.'

What that means is this: as you would know, Mr Speaker, just to pay for the spending promises they made at the last election, they will have to fully reverse all of the company tax cuts. But it also means this: all the money from their proposal to reverse the tax cuts is fully spent. So when they were up in Townsville last week, when they were up in North Queensland—even when they were in Melbourne talking about tram extensions—and they were claiming some $300 million in new expenditure and that it was funded from reversing the company tax cuts, that was a lie. Every time you hear Labor say they are funding new expenditure from reversing the company tax cuts, it is a lie.