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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4347


Ms RYAN (LalorOpposition Whip) (14:46): My question is to the Prime Minister. Channel 9 news has reported that government ministers consider that now might be the right time to drop the government's big-business handout. For the benefit of his ministers, including the Minister for the Environment and Energy, will he spend the next three minutes outlining why his government is resolutely committed to taking its entire corporate tax cut to the next election?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:47): I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to respond. On this side of the House, we believe that Australian businesses need more competitive taxes so they can stay ahead and employ more Australians—like the more than a million Australians who've got a job under this government and the many more who will get a job under this government as long as we continue to stick to those policies, as we do, of delivering more competitive tax rates for Australian business.

We're following some very important principles, and they are principles that the opposition used to believe in quite strongly. One in particular from the member for Fenner I think is particularly illuminating. He says:


as opposed to other tax-paying mammals—

typically … work harder when the tax rate falls …

I know he's making that distinction for humans because, remember, when they were in government, they actually made payments to pets. That's what they did when they were in government. So I agree. I agree and I think we all agree that humans, if they're given that incentive with lower tax rates, will actually respond to that incentive. I thank the member for Fenner for his reflections on the biology of taxation.

But it's not only the member for Fenner who used to say this. It was the member for McMahon who said:

It's a Labor thing …

'It's a Labor thing! It's a groovy thing,' maybe he thought, as Zoolander over there would refer to it. He said:

It's a Labor thing to have the ambition of reducing company tax because it promotes investment, creates jobs and drives growth.

Now, this morning, when he was on Radio National, when asked, 'What if the company tax cuts did not proceed?' he said: 'It's a good thing. It's a good thing for the country that they don't proceed.' I cannot comprehend the tax logic of the member for McMahon. At one stage, he says that having more competitive, lower corporate tax rates actually drives investment. It creates jobs and it drives growth. And then he thinks it's a good thing not to proceed with those.

But the other problem he has is the falsehood he's putting on the Australian people. He's running around saying, 'We're going to be able to do this, that and the other thing, with a big corporate war chest of reversing company tax cuts,' but what we know is that over the budget and forward estimates he won't get one extra cent from big companies. All the money he's getting—the big ticket item on his tax plan is hitting self-funded retirees. The mother of all taxes from the Labor Party is the tax on grandmothers, Mr Speaker. The grandaddy of their taxes is the tax on grandaddies. That's what Labor's tax plan is, and that's why they can't be trusted. (Time expired)