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Thursday, 12 November 2015
Page: 8459

Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:02): Senator Urquhart, I do not know how many times I have to say this, but there is no proposal from the Turnbull government to increase the GST. But we are very happy to listen to, and we are listening carefully to, the exchange of views among political leaders of both sides of politics. State premiers, current and former, economic commentators, important stakeholder groups, whether it be the ACTU—

The PRESIDENT: Pause the clock.

Senator Urquhart: I rise on a point of order, Mr President. The question was: is there a proposal to broaden the GST to include fresh food, health and education on the table, or is it off the table? The minister has not got to that question.

The PRESIDENT: I interpreted the minister's answer as saying there was nothing on a table at this point in time of that nature. But I will allow the Attorney-General to provide the answer in the way he wishes.

Senator BRANDIS: We are listening to the views of different stakeholder groups, whether it be the ACTU, whether it be ACOSS, whether it be the Business Council of Australia or whether it be COSBOA. There are many views and many voices in this debate. The government encourages the debate, but we, the Turnbull government, are not proposing an increase to the GST.