MONDAY, 14 AUGUST 2017
SUBJECT/S: Turnbull Government’s tax scaremongering
JIM CHALMERS, SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE: We are always up for a debate about tax in this country, but what we see in the newspapers today is just another dishonest scare campaign from Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull and an incompetent and out of touch Government.
Under Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, we've got skyrocketing debt, we've got an unfair tax system, we've got tax concessions going to those Australians who need them least.
What Labor's proposing to do is to responsibly repair the Budget by making the tax system fairer for the working people of middle Australia. What Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison are proposing to do is give a tax cut to the highest income earners, a $65 billion gift to multinational corporations and the big four banks, and a tax hike on eight million Australians earning up to $87,000 a year. So there's a very big difference to the approach to tax taken by Labor and by the Coalition Government under Malcolm Turnbull. Malcolm Turnbull wants to shower largesse on the top end of town; the Labor Party wants to make our tax system fairer so that we can repair the Budget.
The tax hike on low and middle income Australians doesn't get a mention in those reports today. I think that's a very mysterious absence from those reports, the tax hike that Scott Morrison wants to give people in this country who work and who struggle. Millions of Australians on low and middle incomes will get a tax hike under Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull. The reports also don't mention the $21 billion in new taxes in Scott Morrison's most recent Budget alone. It doesn't mention the fact that tax as a proportion of our economy goes up every year of the forward estimates in this Budget or that tax as a proportion of the economy is higher every year in the most recent Budget than it was under any year under the Labor Party.
The PBO - the Parliamentary Budget Office - is not releasing a report on Labor's policies today. These are not independent PBO costings that the Treasurer has put into the News Corp papers today. Our policies are costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office. We release the numbers that are given to us by the Parliamentary Budget Office and Scott Morrison should stop politicising a very important public institution.
Is it any wonder that Scott Morrison is such a pathetic, diminished figure in the national economic conversation? This is a guy who is reduced to spending all of his time on lies and scare campaigns about Labor's policies because he's unable to articulate or defend or defend his own tax policies. This is a Treasurer who spends all of his time on scare campaigns because he can't articulate or defend his own policies on tax.
We won't get economic growth in this country if we continue to let a proportion of Australians decide how much tax to pay or whether to pay any tax at all. We won't get economic growth in this country by showering the biggest tax concessions on those who need them least. What we need is the responsible tax policy proposed by Labor to repair the Budget in a fair way by making the tax system fairer and addressing growing inequality in this country.