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Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Page: 14456


Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (14:44): My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has spent years making it harder for Australians to make ends meet. He's supported cutting penalty rates and jacking up taxes, like his $44 billion Medicare levy increase. After six years of cuts and chaos and just six weeks before an election, does the Prime Minister seriously expect his last-minute decision to copy Labor's bigger, better tax cuts for Australians will hide the last six years of cuts and chaos?

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (14:45): I can assure the member that the Liberal and National parties will never be borrowing any economic policy from the Labor Party. That will never happen. This side of the House will never say that some people deserve tax cuts and other people deserve tax increases, because, on our side of the House, we believe that, when all Australians are working hard, all Australians deserve to keep more of what they earn. On this side of the House, we believe in the economics of aspiration, not the politics of envy and punishment that is pursued by the Labor Party as they run around seeking to drag people down, under the pretence that they're trying to lift others up.

I was wondering: what would be the point of Australians working hard under a Labor government? What would be the reward? What would be the point of starting a business? What would be the incentive to go out there and make that extra sacrifice? The harder you work under Labor, the harder it gets under Labor. The more you actually go out there and take risks to make Australia stronger and to make Australia the country it can be, the harder it gets under the policies of the Labor Party, who just want to tax you more.

The evidence of that is more than $200 billion in higher taxes—that is what the Labor Party are proposing at the next election—and I heard that the member for McMahon, with his chest all beefed up out there, was puffing away about how he would have to bring down another budget if he and the Labor Party were to be elected. Well, I'll tell you why they'd have to introduce another budget: because they'd have to increase taxes. That is what the Labor Party would need another budget for, because you won't find tax increases in our budget tonight—you won't find that at all. But you'll find them thick and deep in the first Labor budget if that is ever to be inflicted on this nation.

Instead, what people will get tonight is the first surplus budget in 12 years. That's what they'll get tonight. The last time the Labor Party had a surplus was 1989. I had long curly hair back then—that's how long ago that was. It was a very long time ago. And, thankfully, the photos were in analog; they weren't in digital!

The last time that the Labor Party had any decent economic policies is beyond anyone's memory. So I can assure the member for McMahon: I won't be reading his little book of big fat taxes that he wants to put on the Australian people when it comes to setting the economic policy for this nation.

The budget that will be handed down tonight will be building our strong economy, to ensure we can secure Australians' future.