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Thursday, 24 May 2018
Page: 4591


Ms MACKLIN (Jagajaga) (14:13): My question is to the Prime Minister. What is the point of this Prime Minister and his government, given that his signature tax policy to give $80 billion to big business appears doomed? Is the Prime Minister's big business tax cut as doomed as his colleagues are claiming?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:14): I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to respond to the member on the issue of taxation. Our side of the House, the government, believes that lower, simpler, fairer, more competitive taxes are good for the economy. It's reward for effort. It actually grows the economy. That's what we believe. As I said yesterday when the member for Fenner gave us the benefit of the behavioural impacts of the tax treatment on mammals in his own references to these matters, I was mistaken to think that the Labor Party actually supported lower and fairer taxes. But I have found the reason for the apparent contradiction in the Labor Party's view on this issue. It seems the member for Fenner is familiar with the work of Lord Layardthis was brought to our attention by Ross Gittins back in April of 2005—who wrote the book Happiness: Lessons from a New Science and, drawing on studies of vervet monkeys, concludes that we need to keep tax rates high to discourage people from working and to make them happier. 'Eureka!' the member for Fenner must have said: 'I've finally seen the light! Higher taxes are good for people!' and they've decided to go down the path of having higher taxes. Well, I've got some advice for the member for Fenner: stop listening to monkeys when you set tax policies.

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon on—

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: I haven't called the member for McMahon. The Treasurer has concluded his answer.