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Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Page: 3473


Ms MACKLIN (Jagajaga) (15:36): That was the most extraordinary performance, but absolutely nothing will beat the way in which we saw the Treasurer in question time today completely refuse to tell us the total 10-year cost of the company tax cut. Now, why would that be? Why would every single Australian want to know the total cost of the company tax cut? Of course, they don't want to be photographed in here giving a massive number that might be $80 billion, might be $90 billion, might be $100 billion—we don't know how much it is.

Well, I can tell you: the pensioners of Australia want to know. They want to know the number because not only do they know that this budget contains an $80 billion tax cut for the biggest companies in this country; they know that this budget contains the abolition of the energy supplement, which each and every one of these people, National Party members and Liberal Party members, have voted for. They've actually already voted for it twice. You've all voted for it twice—to say that a pensioner couple would be $550 a year worse off. That's what's inside this budget, and that, of course, is helping fund this massive cut to company tax—a cut to pensioners so that a pensioner couple will lose $550 a year. That's what these people are doing. That's what's inside this budget. And that's why this budget can only be described as a cruel hoax to older Australians.

Of course, the shadow Treasurer also highlighted the one big zombie from 2014-15 that still lives—it's still alive; it's still in this year's budget—and that is that the age pension age is going to go up to 70. This lot over here are ashamed of it—a bit like they're ashamed of telling us the total value of their company tax cuts. They're so ashamed of it that, since the last election, they haven't brought this legislation back into the parliament. They actually know they won't get it through the parliament. They might get it through here because all these lemmings will vote for it, but it won't get through the parliament because Australians know it is unfair.

This lot don't have the courage to bring it in here, but they keep it in the budget, so the level of the surplus they hope to get to is actually a fairytale. You count a huge change—the increase to the age pension age—that actually isn't going to get through the parliament, that you haven't even had the courage to bring in here. How on earth is it fair? And I'd say particularly to those of you who represent farmers: I know there are members of the National Party who don't agree with this policy, and they should have the courage to actually stand up and say so. They know that there are farmers who cannot possibly work until they're 70. There are tradespeople who can't work until they're 70. There are nurses who can't work until they're 70. That is why this is an unfair policy. This lot are only keeping it in the budget because they need it to help pay for an outrageously unfair cut to company tax. That is why they're keeping it in the budget. They've got an $80 billion cut to company tax, and Australians are going to have to work longer to help pay for this huge largesse to the top end of town.

Australians have worked all of you out, particularly older Australians. They do not agree with working until you're 70. They know it's unfair. They do not agree with a cut to the energy supplement, which is just a straight cut to the pension. That is what is in this budget: a cut to the pension. You are cutting the pension by $14 a fortnight. That is what is in this budget.

Mr Bowen: When does it start?

Ms MACKLIN: When does it start? We have no idea. Of course, it's not just the pension they're cutting; they're also cutting Newstart. The people who are on the lowest incomes in Australia— (Time expired)