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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3705


Mr BANDT (Melbourne) (14:19): My question is to the Prime Minister. Australia has a proud history of egalitarianism. We can look after everyone in our community because of our progressive tax system where people who earn more pay a higher rate of tax. But your new flat tax plan is the end of progressive taxation in this country. How is it fair that someone earning $200,000 a year pays the same rate of tax as someone who is earning just above the minimum wage? Why do you want to be the Prime Minister that killed egalitarianism?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:19): I want to thank the honourable member for his question, because it gives me the opportunity to remind the honourable member that, at the end of the seven-year personal income tax reform plan that we have set out in the budget, which has been introduced into the House in legislation by the Treasurer, 94 per cent of Australians will not have to pay more than 32½c for any additional dollar they earn. So the marginal tax rate which he's objecting to—he doesn't like it—from $41,000 up to $200,000 will be 32½c. This is the outcome. At that time, someone on $205,000 taxable income, earning five times as much as someone on $41,000 taxable income, will pay 13 times as much tax. That is the whole point. The tax systems remains thoroughly progressive, in the sense that the bulk of the tax is paid by people on higher incomes. The bulk of the tax, as is the case now, will be paid by the few and not by the many. But what it will ensure is that constituents in his electorate and in every electorate in this House who want to earn more, who want to get ahead, who want to do some more hours, who want to take on another promotion or start a business will know that they will not be put off that or disincentivised by a higher and higher marginal tax rate. It is an outstanding reform and it speaks to the optimism, the confidence and the aspiration that underpins the strength of the Australian economy. We know what makes the Australian economy strong. It's the optimism, the investment, the confidence of Australians—of Australian businesses in particular—and we are backing them.