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Thursday, 3 March 2016
Page: 3055


Mr SWAN (Lilley) (09:54): Today's BIS Shrapnel report is yet another attempt by the coalition's dirty tricks department to discredit the Labor Party's evidence based and very sound negative gearing policy. The Liberal Party has form in this area. Who could ever forget the dodgy accountants the Liberals hired to cost their 2010 election platform, who were found after the election to have breached professional accounting standards in their costings? So too with this document today, and so too will it be judged. It is simply a piece of Tea Party propaganda and it demeans the stature and the credibility of our Treasurer, who seeks to use it as evidence based policy when it is nothing more than a piece of dirty propaganda from the Liberal Party's dirty tricks department. It is another example of the Treasurer simply being out of his depth and his commitment to ideology over fact based policy. It is ultimately the Trumpification of the policy process in this country. As John Daley said, it does not pass the giggle test.

Another statement that does not pass the giggle test is a statement that was made here last night, on the 20th anniversary of the election of the Howard government. Former Treasurer Costello said that it is important that we get expenditure under control. Unfortunately, in a fact based world, the facts are that Treasurer Costello was one of the biggest spenders in Australian history. During his treasurership, revenue flows were upgraded by an unprecedented $334 billion, of which he managed to spend $314 billion. In the final years of the Howard government, gold bars were raining down from heaven and Treasurer Costello spent 94 per cent of that boost to revenue.

Of course, Treasurer Morrison follows in his footsteps. He went to the Press Club three weeks ago and admitted that, of the $80 billion of savings made by the Turnbull-Abbott governments in 2½ years, he spent nearly every last dollar. So this is a government driven by ideology. They claim they are concerned about the budget deficit, but they spend all of their savings. What they are really about is ripping into the social safety net to create an environment to give them permission to take away the essence of the Australian settlement, which provides benefit to so many people in this community through enhanced social mobility as well as a more prosperous economy. They claimed for five years there was a 'deficit and debt disaster' and then spent all of their savings in 2½ years. Their real priority is to rip up the social safety net and increase the tax burden on low- and middle-income earners. (Time expired)