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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6164


Ms HENDERSON (Corangamite) (14:36): My question is to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services. Will the minister update the House on why it is important to have tax policies that reward hard work? Is the minister aware of any threats to the hip pockets of working Australians?

Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Revenue and Financial Services, Minister for Women and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) (14:37): I thank the member for Corangamite for her question. She, like those on this side of the chamber, understands that Australians work hard for their money and they should keep as much of that hard-earned income as possible. She understands, as we do on this side of the chamber as a government, that it is not the government's money; it is the individuals' money. That is why I'm happy to note here in this chamber the government's historical Personal Income Tax Plan that allows individuals to keep more of their hard-earned income that they work for, whilst also guaranteeing the essential services that Australians rely on. Our plan delivers lower, simpler and fairer taxes for all Australians—principles that we on this side agree with.

The contrast with those opposite could not be clearer. They are for higher, bigger, and more taxes. That is something that unites every single one of them—perhaps with the exception of one. Maybe I am being a little unkind in tarring all of those opposite with the same brush. Maybe there is one amongst them who dares to speak out and dares to be different. And I just want to highlight the member for Grayndler. The member for Grayndler is so aspirational that last Friday he broke ranks with those opposite and said that Labor should celebrate the importance of individual enterprise and the efforts and the importance of the business community. I kept reading through his speech and I'm a little sad to say that there wasn't terribly much more that I could agree with, because, of course, he talked about the fact that the Labor Party is not a single-issue party. But the Labor Party is a single-issue party. It is the party of higher taxes. This is, in fact, something that motivates them. This is something that they truly believe in.

Let's consider the evidence. Labor will raise taxes for small business and family enterprises. They are going to raise those taxes. Those people who want to earn, or who aspire to earn, more than $90,000 will pay higher taxes under the Labor Party. They will increase taxes for those people who have superannuation accounts and investments. And, if you happen to survive the tax tsunami that those opposite would like to wreak upon the Australian people, when you retire they will come after you, as well, and they will deny you your tax refunds. It all adds up to more than $200 billion worth of new or increased taxes. They are going to hit Australians, young and old, because they believe in higher taxes. The government knows that those Australians who work hard for their income deserve to keep as much of it as possible. Those opposite would deny it to them. (Time expired)