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Transcript of doorstop interview: Banora Point, NSW: 19 February 2016: Justine Elliot in Richmond; Labor's plan to fund health & education - and balance the Budget; Liberal Party protection racket for super tax havens; a time for Turnbull and Morrison to outline a detailed tax plan

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SUBJECT/S: Justine Elliot in Richmond; Labor’s plan to fund health & education - and balance the Budget; Liberal Party protection racket for super tax havens; ti

me for Turnbull and Morrison to outline a detailed tax plan.


RIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER: It’s great to be here in Banora Point with Justine Elliot. Justine is a very, very hard working member of Parliament. We were elected to Parliament together on the same day in 2004 and every day since then I have heard her and seen her stand up for the people of Richmond. When this Government was cutting the Age Pension, introducing $100,000 university degrees, attacking family tax benefits, the National Party was struck dumb. Not a word, not a word of protest, not a word of effort.

Justine Elliot and the Country Labor team on the other hand fought consistently against those policies. She has consistently stood up for the people of Tweed and Richmond more generally and frankly, she hasn’t cared if it’s a Labor Government or a Coalition Government, she’s stood up for what she thinks is right and in the best interest for the people of this area. So I’m always delighted to spend time with Justine, particularly here in beautiful Banora Point.

More generally, it’s been a remarkable contrast this week. We’ve had the Labor Party outlining a series of well costed, detailed policies and plans for the future of our Budget and our economy. Our plan on negative gearing is good for housing affordability. Young people right around Australia, struggling to get into the housing market. Our plan on negative gearing is good for the Budget raising, together with changes to capital gains tax, $32 billion over the next ten years, not only improving the Budget bottom line but letting the future Labor Government make the important investments in education, and in health, and in other areas. We know what impacts the Abbott/Turnbull cuts on health

have had on the Tweed and this area. We want to make sure our hospital system and education system are properly funded into the future. But that means difficult decisions like the one we’ve announced.

In contrast we’ve had a Government all at sea. Scott Morrison giving one of the worst speeches in living memory of a sitting Treasurer earlier in the week, 46 minutes of waffle. And a Government at war with itself on superannuation and on bracket creep. Scott Morrison has said that there’s a national moral crusade to deal with bracket creep and his number two, his Finance Minister has said, ‘nothing to see here, no problem’, in the last 24 hours. Last week we saw Michaelia Cash, a Cabinet minister saying that a GST rise was still on the table and Malcolm Turnbull being forced to say it’s not. And in superannuation, Labor has a costed, detailed plan to deal with Superannuation to deal with high-income superannuation. Scott Morrison wants to scare campaign against that plan, now he’s going to do the same but go further. Now Scott Morrison has talked a lot about Superannuation in the last 24 hours, he should come clean with his plans. Here in this area, many people relying on their superannuation, they want the certainty, they want to know what the future holds for them.

Now we’ve made it clear our plans, I’m happy to fight an election on them, he needs to come clean on his plans. He talks about changing the tax on contributions, on money going in. He says he won’t change the tax on earnings, yet we know that there are 475 Australians with more than $10 million in their Superannuation account and they are living tax free on the income from those superannuation accounts. We say that is not fair or sustainable. We have a proper plan to deal with it, Scott Morrison, Mathias Cormann, the entire economic team, all at sea with no plan for Australia’s future.

JOURNALIST: Can we touch just briefly on what Labor’s plan is for superannuation?

BOWEN: Well our plan is to make superannuation tax treatment fairer to deal with some of the excesses for high income earners. We’ve said that for people earning $250,000 or more we will have an appropriate 30 per cent contributions tax and for people over 60 who earn more than $75,000 a year from their superannuation account, the first $75,000 will be tax free for everybody, we’ll have a 15 percent tax on the money over $75,000. That’s fair, that’s proper and that ensures our superannuation system has the superannuation settings for the future.

JOURNALIST: Okay, so obviously you’re in the Tweed as well to be a part of a community forum and talking about issues such as the GST. What do you think are the biggest concerns that are going to come out of this meeting will be?

BOWEN: Well the concerns I’ve heard so far in the Tweed are similar to the concerns I’ve heard elsewhere in regional Australia and indeed all through Australia, concerns about the GST. People saying, well Malcolm Turnbull says it’s off the table now but Tony Abbott made a lot of promises last election about no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no cuts to SBS or the ABC, all of which he broke. Liberals break election promises. Concerns about the NBN, concerns about the impact of family tax benefit cuts which effect regional areas in particular, concerns about the impact of higher

education cuts and the impact of deregulation of university fees which impact on regional areas and regional universities the most.

JOURNALIST: And I know that you haven’t done the forum yet but do you have an idea of any other concerns that might be raised?

BOWEN: Oh look, I’m sure we’ll get all sorts of issues raised with us and Justine and I will deal with them as best we can.

Thank you.