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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14633


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:48): My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has already performed one humiliating budget backflip on the energy payment, but his budget still gives more than two million workers a tax cut of less than $5 a week, while bankers and CEOs get $11,000 a year. So why won't he do another backflip today and give retail assistants, cleaners and manufacturing workers a tax cut that they deserve?

Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongThe Treasurer) (14:48): We on this side of the House are proud of the fact that, because of last night's budget, 13.3 million taxpayers will be better off. We on this side of the House believe in lower taxes. We on this side of the House believe that people should earn more and keep more of what they earn. We believe that we need a flatter, simpler tax system that remains progressive. Under the reforms that we announced last night, the top five per cent of taxpayers will continue to pay about a third of the overall tax burden. The top one per cent of taxpayers will actually increase their proportion of the overall tax burden under the reforms we have put in place. Somebody earning $200,000 will be paying 10 times the amount of tax paid by someone who is earning $45,000.

Here in Australia, the top marginal rate of tax cuts in at about 2.2 times average full-time earnings. In the United Kingdom, it cuts in at four times. In the United States, it cuts in at eight times. We have a progressive system in this place and in this country, and we're proud of it. But what we're also proud of is the fact that we return the people's money, because it's not our money; it's their money.

The Labor Party believes that you need to always chase higher spending with higher taxes. That doesn't end well. When the budget papers show that dwelling investment will fall by seven per cent in 2019-20 you know it's the worst possible time for Labor's new housing tax. You know that Labor's policy to drive rents up by 22 per cent and drive house prices down by 16 per cent comes at exactly the worst time. And the member for McMahon knows why. If you send dwelling investment down, if you send housing prices down, it will impact on household consumption, and household consumption is 60 per cent of GDP. We need household consumption to be strong. So the Labor Party, by sending people's house prices down and their rents up, will be hurting household consumption—not to mention the retirees.

Over a million retirees in Australia have saved diligently and done nothing wrong except do exactly that: take responsibility for their own savings and their own future. But the Labor Party's coming after their savings. And I say to the member for McMahon: why is it okay for somebody who has their money in an industry super fund to still continue to get their franking credits, but someone who's a self-funded retiree is having them ripped away from them by the Labor Party? The hypocrisy in your policy! Only the coalition will lower people's taxes. (Time expired)