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Thursday, 20 June 2013
Page: 6526


Ms SAFFIN (Page) (15:03): My question is to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation. Minister, how has real tax reform given Australian families a fair go under this government and what would be the impact on families from other approaches to tax reform?

Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (15:03): I thank the member for Page for her question. This Labor government has delivered real tax reform to ensure that families get a fair go. On top of delivering our three rounds of personal income tax cuts, we have also tripled the tax-free threshold, we have cut taxes on superannuation for low-income earners and we have acted on more than a third of the recommendations of the Henry tax review. Every time we have brought in measures such as these, those opposite have voted against them. They vote against these measures because when it comes to tax reform there is only one type of tax reform those opposite have any interest in and it starts with 'G' and it ends with 'T'—that is right, it is the GST. We know they introduced it and they wanted it to be on everything in the first place. It is in their DNA to increase the GST. We have heard the Leader of the Opposition say that if they get elected he will have a tax review. You know that when a Liberal tells you that they are going to have a tax review it is really a GST review because they want to increase the GST.

We have seen more evidence of that this week. We have seen the New South Wales government handing down their budget a bit earlier this week, and we all know Premier O'Farrell has been running around for months now saying, 'We want to jack up the GST,' and we saw him yesterday go on Sydney talkback radio saying exactly the same thing. I have even seen reports that the New South Wales Liberal Treasurer, Mike Baird, has been out there saying to the business community, 'Look, we've got a plan to cut business taxes and we're going to fund it when we get all this extra GST revenue that we will get.' Those poor old souls in the business community are out there living on a prayer. Well, this bloke is the Bon Jovi of tax reform: he has got business out there living on a prayer. But I tell you what: the state treasurers and premiers are not living on a prayer; they are living on a promise. They are living on a promise from the Leader of the Opposition that if he ever gets elected he will jack up the GST and give them even more GST revenue. We know that because that is what you can always count on from the Liberal Party. Now when it comes to the GST, Australian families will always have a very clear choice: a Labor government that will stand up against any increases or a Liberal Party who will always kick them in the guts by jacking up the GST.