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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 489

Mr Les McMahon (SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Prime Minister whether it is a fact that in September 1978 he said:

The Government is not in the business of hitting the pockets of the working men and women of Australia.

Is it also a fact that under his taxation policy the Australian people have paid more tax in the last four years than the combined total of all taxes collected in the previous 1 1 years by the Menzies

Government, the Holt Government, the Gorton Government, the McMahon Government, and the Whitlam Government?

Mr John Brown (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Bring back Billy.

Mr SPEAKER - Which one?

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - If you feel like making a proposition, Mr Speaker, I will be very happy to look at it. I think people would be well aware that, during the Australian Labor Party's years in office, income tax collections rose by something like 125 per cent. In one year the Labor Government's expenditure increased by 46 per cent. Government spokesmen have been extraordinarily modest. There are some 290 programs, new statutory authorities, and other things to which the Labor Party has committed itself. We have been kind because we have tried to cost only about five of them, together with the commitment made this morning on A M about the 30 per cent for all pensions and benefits. It is perfectly plain that, if the Labor Party were to apply those policies with any degree of responsibility, the taxes on the Australian people would have to rise enormously. But we know it will not be won--

Dr Klugman - Mr Speaker,I raise a point of order. Would you ask the Prime Minister to put on a different record?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Prospect is not amusing.

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Honourable gentlemen opposite are somewhat sensitive this afternoon. They know quite well that their expenditure commitments represent a total irresponsibility. This self-confessed expert, the Leader of the Opposition, goes around saying how responsible he is, that it is recognised by everyone what a good Treasurer he was. Clem Jones says that he cannot even read a balance sheet. Members of the Labor Party are self-confessed failures. Not only that, but also they are so proud of the Leader of the Opposition that they have to try to hide him behind somebody who cannot talk. He is also being submerged by Mr Hawke, who we know wants his job and will probably get it.

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