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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Page: 6373

Taxation


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:39): My question is to the Prime Minister. Last year, the National Australia Bank made a net profit of about $5 billion but cut 6,000 jobs. Why is the Prime Minister trying to cut a deal with One Nation to reward the big banks with a $17 billion handout? Why do this Prime Minister's arrogant and out-of-touch policies always reward the top end of town while workers get punished?


Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:39): I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to respond to the question. The Labor Party keep talking about 'the top end of town'. We talked about this yesterday. What the Labor Party are doing by opposing the Turnbull government's Enterprise Tax Plan, which will ensure that Australian businesses pay competitive rates of tax—if we don't make this change, Australia will have the second-highest tax rate of businesses anywhere in the developed world. That's where they want Australia to be. They want Australia to be up there with the second-highest rate of business taxes in the world, and somehow that is supposed to drive our economy forward. As I said yesterday, the top end of town that benefits from what Labor are doing is the top end of town in Manhattan, in San Francisco, in Dallas, in Houston, in Singapore, in Hong Kong, in London and in all of these places, because what the Labor Party want to do is ensure that the businesses that Australian businesses compete with will have lower rates of tax than Australia will. The Labor Party want to send jobs offshore; they want to send investment offshore. This is the Labor Party that do not understand, as the Minister for Small and Family Business has just demonstrated, how the economy can grow.

We are now the absolute inheritors of the ladder of opportunity. We have always been that. We have always understood the aspiration of people who have been able to get ahead in life—no better demonstrated than by the Prime Minister himself, working away over many, many years. We understand that. But the snaky way that this Labor Party go about economic policy, setting one group of Australians against another, demonising one while trying to pretend they're doing something for the other—it's very snaky. I was talking about the boa constrictor before—the one that suffocates and constricts the blood supply to the body as it defeats it. That's what Labor's policy will do to our economy. But there are plenty of other snaky characters—plenty of them. If you look at the king brown snake, it has the largest recorded venom output of any in the world. Who does that remind me of? The Leader of the Opposition!

The SPEAKER: I will just say to the Treasurer: I don't like the track you're going down. You're about to get bitten!

Mr MORRISON: The snakes-and-ladders approach of tax policy that we've seen from the Labor Party is saying to people that they reckon they'll put them on the ladder of opportunity, and the truth is that they're just going to slide all the way to the bottom under Labor's tax policy.