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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 283


Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (14:25): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on what the government is doing to support the incomes of hardworking Australians and relieve the cost pressures on the family budget? Is the Treasurer aware of any alternate policies that will reduce the cost-of-living pressures for Australian families?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:25): I thank the member for Hughes—my partner from the shire in Sydney—for his question. The way to protect the incomes of hardworking Australian families is to ensure that the businesses that employ them, and create the extra hours and earnings to support their wages, can be successful in a highly competitive global environment—to support the investment that supports the businesses and our economy to drive the growth that those hardworking Australians are looking for, so their wages and their earnings can increase. That is what every element of the government's national economic plan is designed to achieve.

The way to take pressure off the household budgets of hardworking Australian families is to ensure that you have policies that can deal with rising prices of energy, which would only be exacerbated by the reckless ideological promises and policies of those who sit opposite. It is by taking the pressure off child care and making it affordable—through the bill that we brought into the House today to deliver that for Australian families—and by ensuring that you do not put an increasing tax bill burden on Australian families by refusing to take the measures that are necessary to get the budget back into balance, which is what we are doing.

I am asked about alternative ways to do this. I am not aware of any alternatives put forward by those opposite when it comes to this. All we hear from those opposite is higher taxes, higher debt, higher deficits, higher electricity prices, higher childcare prices and higher house prices—from the supply policies that have been run in their counterparts in state governments all around the country for many years. But if I look today at what the co-author of the shadow Assistant Treasurer said about our tax policy, I see that he says in support of our tax policy that our corporate tax regime presents a 'massive long-term problem'. I am talking about Dr Richard Holden. The article is called 'High company tax is a slow death'. He says:

… eventually we are left with an out-of-date economy and a much lower tax base overall.

The co-author of Dr Holden, who authored these comments today, must have had—as the member for Deakin has remarked today—an economic policy lobotomy, because those opposite have now walked away from reducing company taxes as a way of boosting employee wages in those country.

But he is not the only one; there must have been a special on economic policy lobotomies for those opposite, because the shadow Treasurer, when he was castigating the Greens for advocating higher company taxes, said that it would wreck the economic model which has led to 21 years of unparalleled economic grow. Those opposite have no answers when it comes to the needs of Australian families who want to earn more and want to take pressure off their bills. (Time expired)