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Monday, 18 June 2018
Page: 3055

Income Tax


Senator KETTER (QueenslandDeputy Opposition Whip in the Senate) (14:25): My question is to the Minister for Finance, Senator Cormann. Can the minister confirm that under the Turnbull government's income tax plan the Prime Minister's own electorate of Wentworth will benefit the most while the electorate of Longman will see the 10th-lowest benefit of all electorates?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:25): So the implication of this question is that the Labor Party has a policy to have different income tax rates in different electorates; is that what you are suggesting? Are you suggesting that we should have an income tax system that is electorate specific? Let me tell you what the impact of our personal income tax cuts is. Somebody on an income of $30,000 will get an 8.3 per cent income tax cut every year over the next four years under our plan, whereas somebody on $200,000, which you of course describe as the undeserving rich, will get an income tax cut of 0.2 per cent. So it is 8.3 per cent for somebody on $30,000 and 0.2 per cent for somebody on $200,000.

Our proposal is to provide income tax relief to hardworking families, prioritising low- to middle-income earners but providing income tax relief for all working Australians, making sure that working Australians don't go backwards because they are subjected to bracket creep as inflation drives up their income and, as they work a bit harder, as they go into a higher tax bracket. The Labor Party wants to hit them with higher taxes. We want to provide the right incentive, the right reward for effort and the right encouragement for Australians to be the best they can be. Of course I completely reject the question's proposition.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Ketter, a supplementary question.



Senator KETTER (QueenslandDeputy Opposition Whip in the Senate) (14:27): Minister, given that three-quarters of those living in Longman will be better off under Labor's bigger, better and fairer tax cut, will the government support Labor's plan, which will see 63,000 people in Longman up to $928 better off?


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaLeader of the Government in the Senate, Minister for Finance, Special Minister of State and Vice-President of the Executive Council) (14:27): The people of Longman would be better off under our plan for jobs and growth, under our plan to attract more investment, create better opportunity and ensure that wages can rise on the back of stronger economic performance. If Labor was elected—if Bill Shorten was elected—the people of Longman would be worse off. They would be poorer. Low-income earners in Longman would be the most hurt of them all because, of course, Labor so far wants to increase taxes by more than $200 billion. That is $200 billion in higher Labor taxes, which relates to less investment, lower growth, fewer jobs and higher unemployment. As there is higher unemployment, there will be less competition for workers. As there's less competition for workers, wages will go down under Bill Shorten's socialist plan.

So I say to the aspirational families of Longman, to the families who want the best for their kids: only our plan will deliver a better opportunity for them to get ahead.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Ketter, a final supplementary question.



Senator KETTER (QueenslandDeputy Opposition Whip in the Senate) (14:28): Minister, why is the Prime Minister standing in the way of Labor's plan to give a labourer in Longman earning $50,000 a tax cut of $928 a year, almost double the tax cut they'll get from the 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) (14:28): The Prime Minister and every member of this government want every family in Longman to have the best possible opportunity to get ahead. We want every Australian in Longman and their kids and grandkids to have the best possible opportunity to get ahead. That is why we're continuing to implement our plan for jobs and growth. That is why we're implementing our plan to provide income tax relief to hardworking families around Australia, including in Longman. The families in Longman will have better opportunities to get a well-paid job, to get a better-paid job, to pursue a career here in Australia on the back of our plan to ensure that businesses around Australia, including in Longman, are not disadvantaged compared to businesses in other parts of the world. Bill Shorten is selling out investment and jobs to other parts of the world. Bill Shorten, by standing against business tax cuts, is trying to help businesses in the US, the UK, France and elsewhere take investment and jobs out of Australia into those countries. If we continue to impose higher taxes here than are faced by businesses in these countries, that is precisely what we would be doing. (Time expired)