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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 3725

Senator HINCH (Victoria) (12:50): I shall be supporting Senator Wong and her call to suspend standing orders. My position is quite clear. Senator Di Natale, my party made no deals with the government over personal tax cuts. I voted for all three stages of the personal tax cuts because I believe that they are the right thing to do for 90 per cent of Australian workers. No deal was done. Nothing was offered, nothing was gained.

On the company tax: I've made it quite clear to the government for many, many months that I am more than happy to put more companies into the lower region of 25 per cent for company tax because, if we do that at $500 million, nearly 6,000 more smaller businesses can benefit from that.

Even though I want the debate to come on, I don't agree with the Labor Party saying that it should apply only to companies with $2 million of turnover. I suspect that eventually they will come up with about $10 million. I still think that that's far too low. We got to $10 million last year with Senator Lambie. We got to $50 million last year with Senator Hanson. I'm prepared to go to $500 million this year to help 6,000 more companies.

It's a worthwhile thing to do. I agree with the government that we need lower company taxes. That's because of what's happened in the United States, Canada and other countries. But I disagree with them that there's going to be a great big flow-on of wages. In the United States, despite President Trump saying how wonderful it was going to be, the fact was that most of the money from the 25 per cent cut went to share buybacks and increased dividends. It did not flow on much. Nancy Pelosi was quite right when she said that it's not going down.

I'm open to discuss other figures—maybe $500 million, $600 million or $700 million; I don't know—but I will not give money to the banks when they're facing a royal commission. To quote a great Labor man named Mick Young—what he said once about Ian Sinclair—'They are stealing money from dead men's eyes'. That's what the banks are doing right now. I cannot, in all good conscience, support them. I will stand my ground.