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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6163

Taxation


Mr DREYFUS (IsaacsDeputy Manager of Opposition Business) (14:32): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to reports that the Prime Minister will personally benefit from his $80 billion handout to big business through his investments in dozens of big businesses. Can the Prime Minister confirm that, through at least 15 of his 39 managed funds, he invests in 18 businesses that have a turnover of more than $50 million and an additional 14 businesses that have a turnover of more than $1 billion per year? Can the Prime Minister confirm how much these dozens of big businesses will benefit from his big business tax handout?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:33): I thank the honourable member for his question. As I've described to honourable members before, Australians know my life story. It's hardly a secret. Over the course of my life, Lucy and I have worked hard; we've had good fortune. We have paid tax—paid a lot of tax—we've given back to the community and we have been able to achieve a great deal. There was a time when the Labor Party would have certainly welcomed that. Most Australians, the vast majority of Australians, seek to work hard and get ahead. When they do, they pay their tax and they contribute to society. Historically, both sides of politics have welcomed that but apparently not any longer.

The honourable member has asked about my investments, which are set out in the members' interests disclosure. As honourable members would be aware—and I've explained why I've done this in the past—the funds are managed by an external financial adviser. The liquid investments in securities are overwhelmingly held in managed funds and they are almost entirely offshore-managed funds. The reason for that is so as to avoid conflicts of interest in Australian shareholdings. That is the situation. If honourable members opposite want to start a politics-of-envy campaign about it, I don't think they'll be telling people anything they don't know.

But I would just remind honourable members opposite that virtually every member of this House who has interests in Australian superannuation funds—and I particularly note AustralianSuper as being one that is very well-supported or patronised by members opposite—has investments in all of the big multinationals, all of the big companies and banks, and so forth. So the idea that the honourable member wants to create—that somehow or other my wife and I are in a special, unique position in terms of our shareholdings—is absolutely wrong.

By all means, the honourable members opposite should go ahead with it if they wish, but I have to say that the politics of envy is one that has failed in the past. Labor leaders, with success, have united Australians and have called on Australians to be optimistic, to be ambitious, to look forward, and to aspire. Australian Labor leaders who have been successful have talked about the value that the member for Grayndler— (Time expired)