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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 3712

Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (11:48): Temporary Chair, it appears that I am not going to get an answer to that. With respect to the mover of the amendments, that suggests that perhaps the only reason that these amendments are being moved is that they are different to the Labor Party's amendments, which are amendments that the government clearly wouldn't support. If there isn't a reason for these amendments, one would wonder why the Greens political party are pursuing the issue.

I would have thought that the Greens political party might have been focusing their attention on understanding just how important it is that we have a competitive tax system for all corporations, including foreign corporations who want to invest in Australia. That investment in Australia, obviously, creates jobs—principally for Australians. As I've often said in this chamber, I'm not very bright. If a company has an opportunity to invest in Australia and make a certain amount of profit and then pay 30 per cent tax or to invest anywhere else—America, France, Singapore—and make the same profit but then only pay half the tax, you don't have to be a Rhodes scholar in economics to work out where they're going to go. Many of these other places have a competitive advantage with labour costs and regulatory costs. The several advantages we have are dissipated if the tax rate we charge on profits is so much more. That's what I would hope the Greens may be concentrating on rather than lowering the thresholds in this amendment below those in the Labor Party's amendment for reasons which, as I say, don't seem to be apparent and which, unfortunately, the promoter can't change. So I again ask the same questions of the mover of the amendment—that is, the Greens political party. While I'm on my feet, I would also ask Senator Cameron: is the opposition being consistent? I know this was at one stage $100 million. It was changed back and then this is a change back again. Is there consistency in your proposed amendment to this bill?