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Budget 2018: Transcript of joint doorstop interview: Loganholme: 14 May 2018: Budget 2018

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The Hon. Scott Morrison MP Treasurer

The Hon. Bert van Manen MP Member for Forde





Subjects: Budget 2018.

BERT VAN MANEN: Well good morning everybody, and welcome to the fabulous electorate of Forde, and particular I’d like to thank Bill Leavey, the owner of True Blue Glass. Bill thank you for having us down here today, and my good friend the Treasurer Scott Morrison. The reason we’re here today is to talk about what this Budget is going to do for small business in this country, not only from the point of view of extending the instant asset ride-off, but also very importantly, and Bill has been a great advocate for this over the years, the value of building infrastructure for the Australian community. And we saw in the Budget confirmation of our $1 billion funding announcement for the M1. And it’s businesses like True Blue Glass and many others in my electorate of Forde, who will benefit directly from this new investment to complete the upgrade from the Logan, from the Gateway to Daisy Hill, and other projects as well across the state. So, on that note I’d like to thank the Treasurer for his support and I know that I’ve spoken to him often about it. But it shows the value of continuing to persist and talk to your senior colleagues about the issues that are important in local electorates right across the country, and for the electorate of Forde, this is a terrific investment in the future of this community. I’d like to invite the Treasurer to say a few words.

TREASURER: Thank-you very much Bert and to Bill, great to be here at True Blue Glass, and it’s wonderful to be here in Queensland today. And I just want to reassert what Bert was just informing you of. This is one of those businesses that are the backbones of the Australian economy. At the last election, we said that we wanted to cut taxes for businesses just like this. Businesses with a turnover of greater than $2 million. Businesses that are a small business. This isn’t a multinational. This isn’t a Google headquarters. This is a hard working Australian-owned small business doing well here on the coast and creating jobs for Queenslanders. And at the last election we said that we would cut their taxes, and we have done that. We have cut the taxes for this business, and we have been cutting taxes for other businesses employing millions of Australians and millions of Queenslanders.

Now in this Budget, we’ve gone further. In this Budget, we’ve extended the instant asset ride off. In this Budget, we’ve gone further to crack down on anti-phoenixing. Now anti-phoenixing is something that really hurts small businesses, phoenixing I should say. This is where businesses use the tricks to go bust and then not pay their bills to be businesses just like this one. And it’s important that we protect genuine hardworking businesses doing the right thing from others who’d seek to do the wrong thing by them. And so whether it’s cracking down on phoenixing, whether it’s extending further tax relief to businesses just like this one, or through extending the instant asset ride off. But importantly as Bert says, ‘investing in the infrastructure on which businesses like this depend’. It’s no


good for Bill to be having to pay people overtime to be sitting in traffic jams out there on the M1. So it’s important that we invest in this local infrastructure as Bert has championed and fought for. A billion dollars, down to ensure that we get that much needed upgrade for the M1. But it’s not just that. Boosting the Bruce to the north of Brisbane as well. And even on public transport [inaudible] with Brisbane metro, where I was earlier this morning. Investing in the infrastructure that Queensland needs, that south-east Queensland needs, to ensure that businesses can prosper, and commuters and mums and dads can get to and from work and be home in time to actually spend some quality time with their families.

These are the essentials that Queenslanders rely on, and these are the essentials that the Turnbull Government is delivering by creating a stronger economy for the whole nation. A stronger economy for Queensland, and a stronger economy for here in south-east Queensland on the Gold Coast and in the coast area. So, that’s what we’re delivering as a Government in this Budget. But it also means we can guarantee the essential services that Queenslanders also rely on. With more funding for hospitals. I mean we are providing through our new hospitals agreement, a 34 per cent increase in funding for hospitals in Queensland. That’s more than $7 billion extra for hospitals right here in Queensland. And we’re inviting the Queensland Government to come and support us, to get on board and sign up for Queensland, sign up for hospitals in Queensland. We’re delivering extra funding for hospitals here in Queensland. And we’re keen to work with the Queensland State Government to make sure we can deliver that funding and support the hospitals. That we can deliver the M1 upgrade for infrastructure here in south Queensland. I think the public wants all levels of Government to work together to deliver these important services. They don’t want to see us playing politics over this stuff. They just want us to get on with it. And so we’ve got that agreement there, we’re encouraging them to come on board and be part of that just like we are here on the M1. A lot of funding for infrastructure in Queensland in this Budget. $5.2 billion worth of investments in critical economic infrastructure that is going to create a stronger economy here in Queensland and across the nation.

So, Bill thanks very much for the opportunity to be at your business here today. Congratulations on what you’re achieving. You’re working hard and we want to make sure that all Australians get to keep more of what they earn. All Australians. That’s what our personal tax plan is about also. Ensuring all Australians can keep more of what they earn. It’s a clear plan to make taxes lower, simpler and fairer. Low and middle income earners first. Dealing with bracket creep. Making the tax system simpler. 94 per cent of Australians being able to pay no more than 32.5 cents in the dollar. That’s a real plan. That’s a sensible plan that’s been well thought out, and we’ll be putting, we’ve already put to the Australian Parliament. But happy to take questions.

QUESTION: Treasurer why do you think Malcolm Turnbull has received a popularity boost off the back of the Budget but the Government hasn’t according to the latest news poll?

TREASURER: Our Budget is a plan for a stronger economy, and the Budget is being well received as a plan for a stronger economy. A plan for lower, simpler and fairer taxes for all Australians. A plan to see businesses grow and invest in more jobs. More than 1000 jobs a day being created over the last twelve months according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It’s a plan that’s keeping Australians safe with our investments in firming up the security of our airports, international and regional. It’s a plan that’s delivering for the essential services that Australians rely on through a stronger economy, including more money for hospitals here in Queensland. And it’s a plan that is ensuring that the Government lives within its means.


We’re keeping control of taxes and we’re keeping control of spending, and we’re paying down the debt from now, and that will see debt fall by $30 billion over the next four years and $230 over the next ten years. That’s a responsible Budget. A Budget that is a clear and strong plan for the Australian economy to grow and be stronger.

QUESTION: Treasurer can you identify exactly what steps have been taken to boost the number of women in the Parliamentary Liberal Party and on the front bench?

TREASURER: The LNP, like all the divisions of the Liberal Party, is a rank and file movement, and our rank and file members are the ones who decide who stands for them at every election. Amanda Stoker, as you know, was recently selected to fill the place of George Brandis in the Australian Parliament, and we welcome that. And the rank and file members of the Liberal Party are the ones who decide who represents them at each election, and here in Queensland it’s the LNP and Canberra shouldn’t be messing in the affairs of Queensland. And it’s not something, that’s not how our Party operates. Our party operates on the basis of rank and file preselections of party members here in Queensland and it’s Queenslanders who are deciding who are representing us here in QLD not Canberra.

QUESTION: Are you concerned that some women in the LNP are threatening to quit over this?

TREASURER: As I just said, the LNP is a rank-and-file organization where Queenslanders decide who represents them in parliament not Canberra.

QUESTION: One Nation and Senator Lyons are calling on you to split the income tax package, why won’t you do that?

TREASURER: This is a full plan. This is a plan that has been well thought through, which delivers tax relief for all Australians. See, what I find amazing about the Labor Party is they are happy to commit the Australian taxpayer to spending off into the never never but they are not prepared to actually go into the parliament and vote for tax relief for all Australians into the future. If the Labor party are prepared to commit Australians to more spending, then why aren’t they prepared to support taxpaying Australians to give them the certainty of tax relief? Under our plan, someone who’s earning an average wage, fulltime wage, today, over the next seven years will pay less tax under the Coalition. Under the Labor party they will pay more tax over that period because Labor refuses to deal with Bracket creep. See what Labor have done is give a political response to the Budget. It’s not an economic response. It’s a pre-election thing that politicians do - that’s what you’ve got from Bill Shorten. I mean remember at the last election he said we were going to sell Medicare for goodness sake. I mean it was just a bold face lie. Bill Shorten’s not believable. He’s not believable. Our plan has been well thought through and we will continue to work constructively and respectfully with the crossbenchers to demonstrate how this plan delivers for all Australians. It actually gives all Australians an encouragement and a reward for the effort they put in and the certainty of getting that tax relief. Over the next seven years, we start with low and middle come earners and we move to eliminate that bracket creep which puts its hands into people’s pockets as they do better. That’s what Bill Shorten will be doing. And then the third stage of that plan is to make the system simpler so 94 per cent of Australians won’t pay more than 32.5 cents in marginal tax rate. That’s a simple plan, it’s a fair plan, it’s a responsible plan. It’s a plan that gives Australians certainty and that encouragement that the more effort they put into, the Government won’t be taking more out of their own pockets.


The other thing I’d say about the plan is this: our plan is not paid for by putting higher taxes on businesses, like Bill’s here, like the Labor party is saying. It’s not a plan that puts higher taxes on Australians. We have got a clear tax speed limit. Bill Shorten has been running around saying that the Government’s plan is based on big businesses getting big tax breaks. Well over the Budget and forward estimates, what Bill Shorten’s plan is based on is ripping the money away from self-funded retirees and retirees all around the country. And it’s been funded by him putting his hands in the pockets of small and medium sized businesses. 80 per cent; 80 per cent of that enterprise tax plan, over the next four years: that is what was being received by small and medium sized businesses just like Bill’s here. So Bill Shorten wants to put his hand in Bill’s pocket here to pay for his political promises and we don’t think that’s the way to run an economy.

QUESTION: How can you say a rank-and-file preselection up here [INAUDIBLE] yet your very own one, in Cook, the candidate says he was forced to quit to make way for you? Isn’t that hypocritical by yourself?

TREASURER: Well your record of the event is completely wrong.

QUESTION: So the preselection, the rank-and-file preselection…

TREASURER: I won a preselection. Back then, I stood for preselection and I was successful at the preselection. It was done by a preselection of both local and federal component members in accordance with the NSW constitution. So you should check your facts before you ask the question.

QUESTION: So you are saying that there was no intervention?

TREASURER: No there wasn’t. There was a rank-and-file preselection. There was a rank-and-file preselection.

QUESTION: So the preselection candidate wasn’t forced to resign?

TREASURER: There were issues with that candidate at the time.

QUESTION: What were those issues?

TREASURER: Well you can go back and check over the record.

QUESTION: Will the Coalition pursue any Labor MPs….

TREASURER: And let me just stress, that was done by the NSW division of the Liberal Party. Divisions handle their own preselections. So, I entered parliament, selected by my party, and have been pleased to represent my party at every election since then. Canberra shouldn’t interfere in State preselections. They didn’t interfere on that occasion. Those decisions were taken by the NSW division and a further preselection was held of which I was successful.

QUESTION: So you wouldn’t be opposed to the LNP interfering in the preselection…

TREASURER: Canberra shouldn’t be telling Queensland what to do.

QUESTION: Will the Coalition pursue any labor MPs facing fresh questions over dual citizenship or do you think those questions marks have sort of been answered?


TREASURER: Well Bill Shorten should be dealing with his own mess on his side. I mean, what we do know about Bill Shorten on this issue is, once again, rolled gold guarantees from Bill Shorten aren’t worth a Zack. And that’s why he’s just not believable on anything he puts forward. You know, he went forward with bold faced lies - bold faced lies to the Australian people at the last election; tricking voters down in Tasmania saying that the Government was going to sell Medicare. I mean it was just a lie. He was doing it all over the country. He was doing it here in Queensland, here in this electorate of Forde. And people know that when Bill Shorten gives a rolled gold guarantee you can’t take it anywhere, let alone to the bank.

QUESTION: Can I just ask you about your event tonight? Are you looking forward to being grilled by 120 voters in north lakes?

TREASURER: I’m very much looking forward to getting up there to North Lakes tonight there with Paul and I think this is an important part of the process around the Budget, to be able to sit down with every day Australians and talk to them about what the Budget means for them and answer their questions. Because, you know, I’m confident in the plan, the strong plan we have for a stronger economy - the plan that we have for tax relief for all Australians. Well Bill Shorten, he’s going out there and he’s picking some, and he’s punishing others. His plan is based on bitterness and envy. That’s not what Australia was built on. Australia was built on aspiration and hard work and people getting reward for their effort. Not envy and bitterness. Our plan is for a stronger economy and that’s what I’m looking forward to discussing tonight with PM, with Paul Murray, and with the people up there in north Lakes and Luke Howarth as well. And I think it should be a good honest discussion tonight and I thank Paul for inviting me to come and do it.

Great thank you.


Contacts: Andrew Carswell 0418 505 376, Kate Williams 0418 872 921, Sonia Gentile 0455 050 007 The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Sydney