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Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Page: 4711


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:02): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister please explain to the Australian people why it is government policy to forgive businesses who have illegally failed to pay their employees superannuation for over 25 years by waiving all penalties and rewarding them with tax deductions?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:02): The government has done more than any of its predecessors to crack down on corporate tax avoidance. And when the multinational tax avoidance legislation was presented at the end of 2015—legislation which, together with accompanying new laws, has brought $7 billion of revenue back into the Australian corporate tax net—it was the Labor Party that voted against it. The Labor Party then voted on behalf of tax dodgers. That's what they did. They had the opportunity to support us in cracking down on tax avoidance, and they failed to rise to the occasion. We have ensured that we do everything we can to provide businesses with the incentive to invest and to employ. We believe in lower taxes. But we believe that everybody should pay their tax in accordance with the law.

Mr Brendan O'Connor interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Gorton is warned!

Mr TURNBULL: The Labor Party, on the other hand, stands for higher taxes, less investment, fewer jobs and lower paid jobs.

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition on a point of order?

Mr Shorten: Yes, on relevance: I was asking about the government's Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill, and why this Prime Minister is giving a leave pass to dodgy bosses.

Mr TURNBULL: Mr Speaker, if I may—

Ms Husar interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Lindsay will cease interjecting.

Mr TURNBULL: Mr Speaker, we should not forget that it was the Leader of the Opposition when he was in government who removed the protections for people with low-balance superannuation accounts.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: Well, he did. He did, indeed. His legislation failed to protect people with low-balance superannuation accounts—a matter that is being addressed by the government's superannuation reforms.

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on both sides! The Treasurer! The Leader of the House! The level of interjections is already too high. I make it very clear to all of those interjecting, particularly those who interject regularly, that I will act swiftly. I'm not at every interjection going to interrupt the ministers answering questions. I've mentioned a number of people and warned the member for Gorton.