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Tuesday, 8 May 2018
Page: 3269


Ms O'NEIL (Hotham) (14:57): My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has said that his decision to block a royal commission for almost two years was just a political error. Is the Prime Minister aware of reports that it was 'common practice for National Australia Bank employees to falsely sign forms as witnesses'? Why is the Prime Minister awarding big business with an $80 billion tax handout, including over $3.3 billion for the National Australia Bank?

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the House on a point of order.

Mr Pyne: The Prime Minister should be questioned on matters that are within his responsibility. While he might be prepared to answer the question, I do think that that is stretching the boundaries of what's within the Prime Minister's responsibilities.

The SPEAKER: I thank the Leader of the House. I listened very closely to the question. The Leader of the House makes a good point with respect to one part of the question. The last part of the question, with respect to company tax cuts, was in order and the preamble was obviously in order. But, with the middle part of the question not being in order, and that's my ruling, that sort of makes that preamble rather defunct. The Prime Minister can answer the part of the question that I've ruled relevant, and that's the very last part, which relates to company tax.

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:59): Thank you, Mr Speaker. The honourable member, by her question, indicates that the Labor Party is not simply opposed to reducing company tax for companies with turnovers above $50 million but is determined to reverse the company tax reductions that have already been legislated. So thousands of Australian owned family businesses, small and medium businesses, that are getting the incentive right now through legislation that has passed the parliament—the honourable member's question indicates Labor is going to go to the next election and say to all of those family businesses, 'You're going to have to pay more tax'. (Time expired)

Ms O'Neil interjecting

The SPEAKER: Member for Hotham, I'm trying to call the Manager of Opposition Business.

Mr Burke: Mr Speaker, given that you only ruled the last part of the question in order, in order for the Prime Minister to be directly relevant, he has to be referring to the taxation levels applied to the National Australia Bank, which does not fit the definition of a small family business, which he's now referring to.

The SPEAKER: The last part of the question related to company tax. I don't think we're going to go through it all again. I'll keep listening to the Prime Minister, unless he's concluded his answer. He's concluded his answer.