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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Page: 10727


Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (14:20): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the government's strong economic management is reducing the tax burden on retirees, families and small businesses so they can earn more and live better? Is the Treasurer aware of any alternative policies?

Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongThe Treasurer) (14:20): I thank the member for his question. He's a great champion for the people of Bennelong, having dispatched with Senator Keneally in straight sets! And we remember that fondly.

The people of Bennelong are benefiting greatly from a strong economy—an economy that is growing by 3.4 per cent through the year; an economy that has seen more than one million new jobs being created, where, last week, we saw unemployment fall to five per cent, the lowest level in six years; an economy with a AAA credit rating from all three agencies; an economy where the budget is coming back to balance a year earlier than expected, with the smallest deficit in a decade.

And today we welcome the Labor Party following our lead in supporting reform to the GST, because the people of Western Australia and, indeed, all states and territories will be better off as a result of our reform. So we thank the Labor Party for belatedly coming to the table.

But the biggest risk to the Australian economy comes from a Labor Party that is determined to see Australians earn less and pay more, because we have a deputy leader for whom aspiration is a mystery, and we have a Leader of the Opposition who wants to run the Australian economy like a union and to give the CFMEU a seat at the top table, in cabinet. And the member for Lilley, the incoming President of the Labor Party, wants to tear down neoliberalism. But the problem for the member for Lilley is: those who know him best, like the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said he could never mount a logical argument. So there are major problems on that side.

But the biggest problem is going to be the $200 billion of new taxes—increasing the taxes on your income; increasing taxes on your property, with changes to negative gearing and capital gains; increasing taxes on family businesses, with the changes to trusts; increasing taxes on your electricity. But the most punitive change of all is the retirees tax. In the member for Bennelong's seat, there are more than 8,000 people who have excess franking credits who will pay more as a result of Labor's policy. In the member for Jagajaga's seat, there are 7,900 who will be worse off. In the member for Hindmarsh's seat, there are 7,200 who'll be worse off. In the member for Newcastle's seat, in the member for Bendigo's seat, in the member for Eden-Monaro's seat, there'll be 7,000 people who will be worse off. Only under the coalition will— (Time expired)