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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Page: 6378


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:58): My question is to the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister consider that the big banks deserve a $17 billion tax cut?

Mr Rob Mitchell interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McEwen is warned!

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:58): The big banks are of course paying the major bank levy right at the moment. It's about $1½ billion a year?

Mr Morrison: It's $2 billion a year.

Mr TURNBULL: Yes, so it's a very substantial additional levy. The honourable member, despite the protestations of the member for Grayndler, is running his campaign against business. It's not just the big banks or big companies he's against; it's right down to businesses of $2 million turnover. It's Stubbs Constructions in Burnie with 63 employees; it's Kennedy's Timbers in Brisbane. He is running a campaign against businesses, small, medium and large.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition on a point of order.

Mr Shorten: Yes, on direct relevance. The Prime Minister might not like the question, but it was specifically about: do the big banks deserve a $17 billion tax handout from this Prime Minister? Do you believe that?

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my right. The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr TURNBULL: Yet again, you hear him talking about tax handouts. The reality is this: the government's every dollar—the government's revenue—comes from Australian families' efforts and Australian businesses' efforts, and what we need to have is a competitive tax system. The honourable member opposite used to say that lower company taxes give us a more competitive economy, as most of his frontbench have done at one time or another—they've all said the same thing. They understand that you've got to have a competitive tax system in Australia to encourage investment and growth and to secure jobs. The Labor Party used to believe that, and they have failed on it. The honourable member opposite should remember that his ability to keep on repeating falsehoods doesn't make them true. It's not just Patsy on Brisbane radio who is awake to him; we all know there is one falsehood after another. It's about time he started telling the truth.

Mr Burke: Mr Speaker, I'm raising the point of order that there wasn't a ruling earlier as to whether or not the Prime Minister was being relevant, and I'm asking for that ruling to be given.

The SPEAKER: Sure. I listened, obviously, very carefully to both the question and the re-statement of the question with some additional words. Whilst those on my left were demanding a yes or no answer, it's very clear in the Practice that they can't demand that. The Prime Minister was being relevant to the question of tax, and I was—

Mr Snowdon interjecting

The SPEAKER: I'm not going to have the member for Lingiari lecture me by way of interjection.

Mr Snowdon interjecting

The SPEAKER: I will talk to you later, after you've left the chamber.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Lingiari will come back and resume his seat. Before I name the member for Lingiari, I'm going to give him an opportunity to stand up and withdraw his comments. The only reason I'm not naming him is my respect for the other members on both sides who want to pursue question time.

Mr Snowdon: I withdraw.

The SPEAKER: The member for Lingiari will leave under standing order 94(a).

The member for Lingiari then left the chamber .

The SPEAKER: The question was about company tax. I was listening very carefully to the Prime Minister's answer. I agree it was a specific question, but the Prime Minister was relevant to the question of tax. Has the Prime Minister concluded his answer? Yes.