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Thursday, 21 June 2018
Page: 3604

Income Tax


Senator KENEALLY (New South Wales) (14:00): My question is to the Minister representing the Treasurer, Senator Cormann. Can the minister inform the Senate how much someone on a salary of over $200,000, like Senator Hanson, who's not in the chamber, can expect to gain once all three stages of the Turnbull government's income tax scheme have been implemented? How does this compare—

Government senators interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order! I'm going to insist on a degree of silence during the question so that I may hear it. On my right, please allow the conclusion of the question.

Senator KENEALLY: Can the minister inform the Senate how much someone on a salary of over $200,000, like Senator Hanson, can expect to gain once all three stages of the Turnbull government's income tax scheme have been implemented?

Senator Fierravanti-Wells interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order, Senator Fierravanti-Wells! I just asked for order during the question.

Senator KENEALLY: How does this compare to what a worker earning under $90,000 will gain?






Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:01): As I've advised the chamber for some time, somebody earning $30,000 a year will get a 8.3 per cent tax cut and somebody earning $200,000 a year will get a 0.2 per cent tax cut. Colleagues, do you know what I'm going to say? The Labor Party does not know when the battle is over. The battle is over and the working families of Australia have won.

Senator Wong interjecting

Senator CORMANN: Yes, there's an election. I take that interjection from the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. We can't wait to engage with the Labor Party in the lead-up to the next election all the way to election day next year when the Labor Party is saying to working families around Australia, 'We, the Labor Party, stand for higher taxes,' while we, the Liberal-National Party, stand for lower taxes. You stand for lower growth; we stand for stronger growth. You stand for fewer jobs; we stand for more jobs. You stand for lower wages; we stand for higher wages. Your agenda of higher taxes and your agenda of wanting to increase the tax burden on Australian families by $70 billion will hurt the economy, will hurt families and, of course, will cost jobs. We're quite happy to go to the next election with you promising to increase that—

The PRESIDENT: Senator Wong, on a point of order?

Senator Wong: It's all very interesting, but, really, the question was quite clear. It was on the comparison between someone on $200,000 and someone on $90,000.

The PRESIDENT: This is the reason I need silence when questions are asked; it's so that I may hear them. I can't instruct the minister how to answer the question, but I remind all ministers that all material in the answer must be directly relevant to the question.

Senator CORMANN: As I've advised the chamber now on a number of occasions, the value of the tax cut for somebody earning $90,000, which the Senate has just legislated, is 2.9 per cent for every year over the next four years. It is 0.2 per cent every year over the next four years for somebody earning $200,000.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Keneally, a supplementary question.








Senator KENEALLY (New South Wales) (14:03): Why did the Prime Minister team up with Senator Pauline Hanson to give themselves the tax cut instead of supporting Labor's plan to give every working Australian on less than $125,000 a tax cut of up to $928 a year? That's almost double the tax cuts they will get from your government.


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:04): What the government has done is team up with the Australian Senate. Working families across Australia are very grateful to their Senate, and they're very grateful to those crossbench senators who've decided to back them by supporting and providing much-needed income tax relief for them so that they get to keep more of their own money instead of the government taking more money out of their pockets. That is what the Senate has done today, and we are prepared to work with any member of this Senate when it comes to advancing good public policy in the national interest and in the interests of working families across Australia. We are very proud that the Australian Senate today stood up for working families across Australia against the socialist politics of envy and destructive agenda of the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten.


Senator KENEALLY (New South Wales) (14:05): I ask a final supplementary question. Senator Hanson says that teaming up with the government to defeat Labor's plan to almost double the government's tax cut for low- and middle-income earners was 'the only fair thing to do'. How is it fair to vote against bigger tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners while voting for a tax cut of $7,000 for yourself?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:05): We are very grateful to Senator Hanson, as we are grateful to Senators Hinch, Burston, Bernardi, Leyonhjelm, Patrick, Griff—all of those crossbench senators who have decided to back working families across Australia who are in much need of income tax relief. It's a plan that is fair. It's fair because our plan for income tax relief prioritises low- and middle-income earners in the first instance but then addresses bracket creep for all working Australians, ensuring they have the right incentive to get ahead. I remind Senator Keneally that somebody earning $30,000 a year pays $2,200 worth of tax, whereas somebody on $200,000 a year pays $67,000 worth of tax. Somebody earning just over three times as much in revenue pays about 30 times as much in tax. (Time expired)