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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 4364


Senator ABETZ (Tasmania) (15:20): The undermining of Mr Shorten is now in full swing, as witnessed by the contribution we just heard, because Mr Bill Shorten, the current Leader of the Opposition, is unequivocally on the public record as saying that company tax cuts do flow through to the community. So Senator Cameron's contribution this afternoon has been a complete repudiation of that which Mr Shorten has said on the public record. Let me quote Mr Shorten:

Cutting the company income tax rate increases domestic productivity and domestic investment. More capital means higher productivity and economic growth and leads to more jobs and higher wages.

So when Senator Cameron seeks to assert to the unwitting people of Australia that cutting company tax just goes to line other people's pockets—namely, company directors—he is either deliberately misleading the Australian people or is clothing himself in complete ignorance and, of course, is in defiance of what his own leader said. Indeed, former Prime Minister Ms Gillard also was on record as saying:

If you are against cutting company tax, you are against economic growth.

The current shadow Treasurer, Mr Bowen, said that cutting company taxes was 'a Labor thing'. And guess who's sort of been saying that in recent times? The would-be Leader of the Opposition, Mr Albanese. He is starting to sidle up to business, knowing the importance of having a good relationship with the corporate sector, because ultimately they are the ones that provide the jobs within the community.

Senator Cameron is not right very often. On this occasion, when he says that there's a disproportionate benefit flowing from these company tax cuts, he's right—but not in the way that he so misleadingly asserted. Indeed, Professor Richard Holden, Professor of Economics at the UNSW Business School, has said that benefits to workers tend to flow disproportionately from company tax cuts—now listen to this—to women, to young people and to the less skilled. That is whom company tax cuts benefit.

So why is it that the current leader of the Labor Party is so maniacally opposed to delivering this support to women, young people and the less skilled? Because the Labor Party, when they are in extreme socialist mode, want to keep people on low wages. They want to keep them as victims, because then they can control them, courtesy of government; whereas the Liberal Party approach, the coalition approach, is to say to people on low incomes and whose jobs are vulnerable: 'We don't want to keep you down. We actually want to lift you up. Rather than having you as victims, we want to make you victors.' That is why delivering these company tax cuts does deliver more jobs and higher wages—something recognised by Labor leader after Labor leader. And, what's more, these benefits flow disproportionately in favour of women, young people and the less skilled.

So it will be very interesting to see how Senator Keneally, who might be taking note later on, is going to debunk that which the professor from the UNSW school of business economics has so rightly pointed out. They are the benefits. They are the recognised benefits. That is why Mr Shorten, Ms Gillard, Mr Bowen, Senator Penny Wong and Dr Andrew Leigh have—

Senator Pratt interjecting

Senator ABETZ: The list of Labor Party people supporting company tax cuts, for the benefits I have outlined, is as long as my arm. But, today, for cheap political reasons, because they have decided to run the politics of envy rather than the politics of lifting people, rather than saying, 'We share your aspiration and we will assist you in achieving your aspirations,' they want to play the card of envy. (Time expired)