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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4340


Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (14:21): My question is to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services. Will the Minister update the House on steps the government is taking to ease the tax burden on hardworking Australians, including in my electorate of Robertson? Is the Minister aware of any alternative approaches?

Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Revenue and Financial Services, Minister for Women and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) (14:21): I thank the member for Robertson for her question. She, like the government, knows that you cannot tax your way into prosperity. That is why the coalition government has already delivered tax relief for around three million Australians, and it is why, under our personal income tax plan, we will deliver tax relief for millions and millions more Australians so that 94 per cent of all Australians will pay no more than 32½ cents in the dollar.

Now, of course, those opposite have a completely different approach. They believe in taxing people even more—in fact, to the tune of $200 billion more. They will slug pensioners and self-funded retirees to the tune of $55 billion more.

Considering that Labor believe how important it is for millions of Australians to pay more tax, they must be very familiar with the concept of conscience payments. You see, the Australian Taxation Office receives moneys that are voluntary contributions to the nation's coffers. Now, given the Leader of the Opposition's fondness for more taxes on everybody else and given that he thinks millions of Australians should pay more tax, I wonder, 'Has he made a conscience payment?' I can report to the House that last year there were 86 conscience payments of—wait for it—just under $8,600. But this year has been a better year and we have seen 72 payments, totalling around $73,000, including a large payment of $62,000.

It did make me wonder: who has made this payment? Was it the Leader of the Opposition? He, of course, is the chief spokesman for higher taxes. Was it the shadow Treasurer? Or was it the member for Rankin, who is the brains trust of the former greatest Treasurer? Who was it? Who was it?

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on both sides!

Ms O'DWYER: It seems only fair that Labor lead by example and put their hands in their own pockets first. So, I ask those opposite by a show of hands: who will commit to making a conscience payment? Who's going to commit?

Dr Chalmers: Malcolm sends his money to the Caymans!

The SPEAKER: The member for Rankin!

Ms O'DWYER: I would like Hansard to remark that there is no-one. I'm going to make it easy for you. I am going to make sure that the Commissioner of Taxation can put a big button on his website that says, 'Donate now: conscience payment'.

Dr Chalmers: Stop talking about the Prime Minister! He's right there!

The SPEAKER: The member for Rankin is warned!

Ms O'DWYER: If millions of Australians would like to make additional contributions, more power to them. But the Leader of the Opposition should lead by example, otherwise, he's a fraud!

The SPEAKER: The minister will return to the despatch box and withdraw that last remark.

Ms O'DWYER: I withdraw.

Dr Chalmers interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Rankin's already been warned. He can leave under 94(a).

The member for Rankin then left the chamber.

The SPEAKER: The member for McEwan obviously wants to join him.