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Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Page: 4721


Ms COLLINS (Franklin) (14:43): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that at 7.18 pm last Wednesday every member of the government voted against Labor's plan to give 39,000 people in Braddon a tax cut of up to $928 a year?

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Franklin will just take a seat. The member for Deakin is warned. Members on my right will cease interjecting.

Mr Tim Wilson interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Goldstein is warned. The member for Franklin can begin her question again.

Ms COLLINS: Can the Prime Minister confirm that at 7.18 pm last Wednesday, every member of the government voted against Labor's plan to give 39,000 people in Braddon a tax cut of up to $928 a year, almost double the tax cut that they'll get from the government? Why didn't this Prime Minister vote for lower taxes for 10 million Australians, including people in the north and on the west coast of Tasmania, instead of giving an $80 billion handout to big business?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:44): I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to respond. As I've quoted the member for Batman, according to the Labor Party tax is not a burden, it's a privilege. They believe paying tax is a privilege on that side of the House.

That's why I'm not surprised they voted against a $140 billion package by trying to turn it into a $70 billion tax relief plan. That's what the Labor Party did. This just goes to show how they seek to hoodwink the Australian people. It's a very shifty practice. They're out there saying, 'We're providing twice as much in tax cuts,' when they come in here and cut the tax cut plan in half. They turned a $140 billion tax relief plan into a $70 billion plan, and then they go outside this place and say that somehow they did the opposite.

It's incredibly shifty. It's a very shifty way to represent themselves to the Australian people. What our personal tax plan does is to ensure that as Australians go about working in the economy they will not have to face the clawback of bracket creep, which will rob them of their increased earnings over the next decade. Someone who is on an average wage—less than an average wage, in fact—of just around $75,000 or $76,000 will face higher marginal tax rates under the Labor Party's plan than they will under the government's plan. So they need to be very honest with the people down there in Braddon. They need to tell them that they came into this place and turned a $140 billion tax relief plan into a $70 billion plan.

But when it comes to the issue of companies, what we know is that you need to be competitive. You need your businesses to be competitive, and the more tax they have to pay the government, rather than investing in their own businesses, does not make them competitive. It was most recently with the report which was cited—the World Competitiveness Yearbook—that the corporate tax rate on profit was the weakest ranking within the government efficiency category, coming in at 50 again, highlighting that to remain internationally competitive this is an area that needs to be reviewed.

Australia's tax rate for businesses is penalising those businesses from employing Australians, paying them higher wages and creating more jobs. It is this side of the House—the Liberal and National parties—which, since we came to government, has created a million jobs and more with the absolute support of the Australian economy going out there and doing the work. That's what's happened under the stewardship on economic management on this side of the House. On that side of the House, they've never seen a tax that they don't want to see higher, because, at the end of the day, they think Australians should pay more tax, and, under Labor, Australians will pay more tax.