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Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Page: 6193

Mr IAN MACFARLANE (2:44 PM) —My question is to the Treasurer. I refer to the government’s claim that fighting inflation is their No. 1 priority. Treasurer, how does increasing the price of motor vehicles by $555 million through a new tax lower inflation?

Mr SWAN (Treasurer) —The first thing it does is build our surplus—absolutely critical in this environment. Let me tell you about this—

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER —Order! The Treasurer will resume his seat. The question has been asked and the question is being responded to.

Mr SWAN —In May we delivered a responsible budget, a budget to build a $22 billion surplus to act as a buffer against international uncertainty and to fund global investment into the future. But it was also a budget which cut tax. Tax as a percentage of GDP came down; it came down overall. Those people over there cannot accept the fact that we brought down a responsible budget that built a significant surplus to tackle inflation, to fund investment for the future and to deliver fairness to working families.

Mr Dutton interjecting

The SPEAKER —Order! The member for Dickson is warned!

Mr SWAN —But what do they choose? They choose to stand up for people buying luxury cars but not for lower interest rates for working families. That is where they are. They choose to stand up for particular oil companies instead of standing up for Australian families who need lower interest rates and critical investment in education and infrastructure. That is where they are. They are not with the working families of Australia who are getting the tax cuts that they made them wait years and years and years for. They are out there defending the alcohol industry, they are out there defending the luxury car industry and they are out there defending windfall profits for oil companies. We know whose side they are on, and it is not the Australian people’s.