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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Page: 6506

Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (18:10): Where does one start after that performance? 'The Liberals don't care about debt and deficit.' Let's go through a quick history lesson, and let's start back in 1996. The coalition government, just by coincidence, inherited from the Labor Party a deficit, and a debt of $96 billion. And do you know what happened? Every single year, the coalition did the hard yards and paid that back. Not only did they pay back that $96 billion debt that the Labor Party ran up; they also paid back $54 billion in interest along the way. After they paid back the debt and the $54 billion in interest, they then put $20 billion in the Future Fund for a rainy day. And they also had the budget another $20 billion in surplus. That is because we on this side care about debt and deficit.

Then, of course, we had the brilliant economic management of Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan. What economic management we had! So good were they, they had to get rid of Kevin Rudd and replace him with Julia Gillard. She gave them a greater mess and greater devastation, and they put Kevin Rudd back in. By the time the mist and the ashes and the smoke had cleared, there was debt and deficit as far as the eye could see. This mob have not actually struck it for one single budget in surplus since—when was it? The 1980s? Is that the last time they cracked it? We on this side are doing the hard work. We are doing the same hard work that's been done before. We are doing the hard work that falls upon coalition governments when we inherit the debt and deficit mess that is left by Labor governments. We do the hard work and we get budgets back into surplus. And that's where we're headed. And, every time we do it, do you know who stands in the way of every hard decision we make? That mob over there. They stand in the way and block us every single time, but we'll continue because we know what's right for this nation.

Today, we have seen the remarkable comment by the Labor Party that they are actually going to go to the next election with a promise to increase taxes for small business. They want to increase taxes for businesses with a turnover between $10 million and $50 million—and they may be able to give us some insight here into whether they'll also increase taxes for small businesses with a turnover between $2 million and $10 million. Have we had any updates that they may inform us of? This is where we see the complete economic misunderstanding of those on that side of the chamber. They simply can't comprehend the difference between profit and turnover. Companies with a turnover of $2 million may have a very slim margin of profit. It depends on the types of goods that they're selling and on the profit margin on those goods. Companies that are selling new cars, boats or caravans may have a very slim profit margin. Companies that work on commission or as agencies might only have a five or 10 per cent margin, or even less, on what they sell their products for. Therefore, companies with a turnover of $2 million might only have a gross profit of $100,000, and then they have all their expenses, yet the Labor Party thinks that they are big businesses, and Labor wants to take away the tax cut and increase their taxes.

We on this side of the house are going to stand up for small businesses in this nation. We're going to stand up and back them on those tax cuts. We're going to oppose Labor and expose them every single day between now and the next election as wanting to increase taxes on small business. That's Labor's policy, and every single small business in the nation needs to know what Labor's plans for them are, should Labor ever get its hands on power again.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Goodenough ): It being 6.15 pm, the debate is interrupted and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.