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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6172


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (15:06): My question is to the Prime Minister. Under this Prime Minister, gross debt has crashed through a record half a trillion dollars. Does the Prime Minister agree that Australia has very high levels of debt and very high asset prices? Does the Prime Minister agree that this is the No. 1 domestic risk to our economy? Isn't this the worst possible time to lock in a 10-year $80 billion business tax giveaway, fuelling national debt?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (15:06): The government, under the member for Warringah, inherited a shocking debt situation from Labor in 2013. We inherited a structural deficit which has taken years to turn around. Net debt is peaking this financial year. It has a few days left. It will peak as a share of GDP in this current financial year and then decline year on year over the following decade to under four per cent of GDP. We have turned the corner on debt.

The honourable member referred to asset prices. Let me remind the honourable member that one of the many economic threats he poses to the Australian public and to Australian families is in his attack on the savings of retirees, a shocking, shameful assault, which is going to force so many of them to sell out of their investments to avoid having the franking credits snatched away from them—and, of course, that's not to speak of his campaign against property investment. He's going to increase capital gains tax and abolish negative gearing.

The largest single asset class in Australia is residential property. It is already softening. Many people would say that that is a correction that was due. Well, everything is good in moderation, I suppose. But what do we think the impact of a ban on negative gearing is going to be on a softening residential property market? The Labor Party will smash the savings of Australians. It will smash into the value of the largest single asset class. And do you know what, Mr Speaker? That is its avowed intention. The Labor Party is a massive threat to the savings, to the futures and to the prosperity of all Australians.

The SPEAKER: Is the Leader of the Opposition seeking to table a document?

Mr Shorten: Yes, I seek to table the comments of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe, where he says that very high levels of debt and very high asset prices are the No. 1 domestic risk. I just thought the Prime Minister would like to learn.

Leave not granted.