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Tuesday, 8 May 2018
Page: 3263


Ms BANKS (Chisholm) (14:31): My question is to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services—

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member will resume her seat. Members on my left will cease interjecting. There will not be a repetition of that. The member for Chisholm.

Ms BANKS: My question is to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services—

Opposition members interjecting

Ms BANKS: Thanks for the applause. Will the minister update the House on the importance of showing a strong economy for all Australians? And is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?

Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Revenue and Financial Services, Minister for Women and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) (14:32): I thank the very hardworking member for Chisholm for her question and for her very strong advocacy on behalf of her constituency. She, of course, can be very proud of the record funding for infrastructure in our home state of Victoria. She's been an incredibly strong advocate for that. She knows that a strong economy is absolutely vital to improving the prosperity of all Australians. We on this side of the House have been implementing our economic plan that has seen the creation of just under one million jobs since we came to government. As Minister for Women, I'm particularly pleased to note that there are more women working now, with 5.8 million women employed in Australia.

The coalition, of course, has taken action to strengthen our economy by also taking action to strengthen the integrity of our taxation system. We have established the Tax Avoidance Taskforce. We have introduced and implemented the multinational anti-avoidance law, despite the fact that those opposite did not support it. We are also tackling the black economy by establishing the Illicit Tobacco Taskforce and by cracking down on those who seek to evade taxes and who would seek to fund and finance organised crime. By continuing to make sure that we have integrity in our taxation system, the government is able to guarantee the important services that Australians—millions of Australians—rely on, whether they be Medicare, defence, schools, hospitals, aged care or disability services, to name just a few. This means that we can continue our commitment to relieve the tax burden on hardworking Australians and all the businesses that employ them.

I note, though, that those opposite have a very different approach. They have a high-taxing approach, which, of course, is in marked contrast to us. I'm very sorry that the member for Fenner isn't here, because he is very fond of quoting the politician, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who said that the art of taxation consists of plucking the goose so as to get the most feathers with the least hissing. I think that even those opposite would have to agree that the more than $200 billion of new or higher taxes that the Labor Party have promised would leave both the goose and the Australian economy well and truly plucked. I think that the member for McMahon, with his audacious claims in trying to lecture the government on surpluses, should remember that he was a Treasurer and that he did not deliver a surplus. In fact, the last time those opposite delivered a surplus was in the 1980s. (Time expired)