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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4336


Mr CREWTHER (Dunkley) (14:06): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the government is delivering lower, fairer and simpler taxes to reward effort, encourage aspiration and help lower and middle-income earners, including those in my electorate of Dunkley? Is the Treasurer aware of any alternative approaches?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:06): I thank the member for Dunkley for his question. Sixty thousand constituents of his own, in the member for Dunkley's electorate, will be particularly benefitting from step 1 of our plan, but our budget is a plan for a stronger economy. That's what the budget is doing this year. Part of that plan is to deliver tax relief for working Australians. Under this government, there are a million more working Australians since we were first elected back in 2013—in fact, more than a million. As we know, last year there was record jobs growth—415,000 in jobs growth; 75 per cent of them full-time in our record year of jobs growth. We want to reward working Australians in this country with tax relief, and our three-step plan, a comprehensive plan for tax relief, does three things. First of all, it prioritises, responsibly, low- and middle-income earners—some 60,000 in the member for Dunkley's electorate. It protects against bracket creep. So, as average wage earners do better over the years or just with the simple movement in inflation, we do not take back from them what they've earned through bracket creep. Thirdly, it simplifies taxes by ensuring that 94 per cent of Australians will not pay more than 32½c in the dollar as a marginal rate of tax. Now, that's a plan. That's a comprehensive plan. It's a responsible plan. It's an affordable plan. It is a plan that is also in parallel with the budget coming back into balance a year earlier, in paying down $30 billion worth of debt over the next four years and more than $230 billion in debt being paid down over the next 10. It's a responsible plan. It's a plan that recognises that what Australians earn is their money. They earned it; they should keep it. The Labor Party thinks every dollar that every Australian earns and every business earns is somehow only bequeathed back to them under the great benevolence of a Labor government. That is a complete nonsense.

We respect Australians who work, we respect Australians who pay tax and we do that with a plan that gives them tax relief. It's a plan that deals with real problems in the tax system, like bracket creep, which takes back from Australians what they have worked so hard to earn. It's a plan which does that over the medium term. It does it immediately from 1 July this year, in terms of moving the tax threshold, which we've already moved from $80,000 up to $87,000, and it would go to $90,000. It's a plan that doesn't punish other Australians to provide tax relief for low- and middle-income earning Australians. It's a plan that doesn't whack $10 billion in taxes on retirees. It doesn't do that; it doesn't do that at all. It rewards Australians for working harder without punishing others who are simply working harder. It's a plan based on the economics of opportunity, not the politics of envy like the Labor Party.