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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6170


Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (14:59): My question is to the Treasurer. The Bank for International Settlements stated overnight that 'financial vulnerabilities have been rising' and 'household credit as a ratio to GDP remains at historical highs in Australia'. They said that now is the time to rebuild policy buffers. Won't the locking in of long-term tax cuts for big businesses and high-income earners mean that, if a downturn hits, instead of investing in jobs, this government will again cut schools, Medicare and pensions in Australia?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:59): A stronger economy—that's what provides the resilience for Australia. A stronger economy is what guarantees the essential services that Australians rely on. A stronger economy keeps Australians safe. A stronger economy is what takes our budget back into balance and has ensured that in this year net debt turns around, over the next four years net debt will fall by $30 billion, and over the next 10 years it'll fall by more than $230 billion. A stronger economy is what gets these results. A stronger economy is what gives Australian jobs the resilience they need to ensure they don't lose them in the future. I'll tell you what a risk is to the Australian economy: more than $200 billion in higher taxes. That's what the shadow Treasurer's alternative is. His alternative approach to managing the Australian economy is to take an enormous chunk of tax and just throw it on top of the Australian economy and think it'll have no impact whatsoever. Higher taxes for small businesses, medium businesses, large businesses, family businesses. Higher taxes for retirees, higher taxes on superannuation contributions, higher taxes on housing, higher taxes on investment, higher taxes on personal income. He thinks that is the recipe to grow your economy.

Ms O'Dwyer interjecting

Mr MORRISON: He has no idea—the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services is absolutely right. His alternative is more than $200 billion in higher taxes and then lumping another $70 billion on in higher personal income taxes. That's what they're saying to people out in Longman, down in Braddon: 'Vote Labor and pay more tax.' That's the Labor way.

When it comes to guaranteeing Australians' prosperity in the future, you don't get there by increasing their taxes. Just think through the logic. The Labor Party think that businesses, large and small, are going to be more likely to invest if they pay the government more in higher taxes. I mean, just think about that for a second. I would encourage them to think about that for a second. How does an Australian business, large or small, compete with a business overseas, in France, in the United States, in Tokyo, London or Singapore, all of whom are paying lower rates of tax? We will have the second-highest corporate tax rate in the OECD if we do not pass these tax changes to make our businesses more competitive. You want to talk about the big end of town. The Leader of the Opposition is supporting the big end of town in the United States, in Paris, in London, in New York, in San Francisco, in Singapore, all over the Western world and further. He is protecting jobs in all of those countries and he is acting against the interests of jobs in this country.