2 May 2016
Transcript - #2016064, 2016

Doorstop interview, Queanbeyan

SUBJECTS: Small business; Innovation; Lintek; Tax reform; Budget 2016; Turnbull Government’s policies to back Australians and boost jobs and growth; Asset recycling initiative

TREASURER:

Well it’s great to be here with Peter, it’s even greater to be here at Lintek with Carl and Renata, the shareholders of this incredibly innovative company, here in Queanbeyan. Lintek is a company with around $6 million dollar turnover, but importantly they want to be a company with a $10 million turnover. In the last 12 months or so they’ve increased their employment by around 10 per cent and there’re looking to increase that by about another 20 per cent going forward. So they are a small business here in Queanbeyan that is getting the job done and that is driving our transitioning economy. Lintek and companies like Lintek are the hope of the side for Australia.  They are the companies that are ensuring that our economy continues to transition, continues to transform, continues to drive jobs and to drive growth. Lintek, I should stress also, is a very important part of the defence industry supply chain here in Australia around 70 per cent of what they do here is built in to the defence supply chain here in Australia. So when we talk the increased investment that we’re putting in to defence industries in this county, it’s not just the shipyards in Adelaide and Perth that benefit from that investment.  It’s companies all across the country, across all the different defence procurements, whether they’re naval or air force or any of these other areas. The defence supply chain in Australia is significant and the investments we’re making in our defence industries, yes their important for our national security and defence but there’re also critically important in driving this transformation that we are seeing in our economy - high tech jobs for the future. I’m very impressed Renato, and Carl in what you’ve been able to do here the innovation you’ve seen inside, building their own machines investing in the right equipment getting the support, where they need for it. This budget is all about backing in firms like Lintek backing in those who are ensuring Australia can make this transition in our economy from the mining investment boom - the resources sector will continue to produce and play a big part in our future, but it’s also companies like Lintek and others also in the services sector which will see that happen. This budget is all about jobs and growth and backing in companies just like this one, which are increasing employment and getting the job done.

QUESTION:

The Prime Minister told us to expect substantial tax reform tomorrow. Is that the kind of language you would use?

TREASURER:

What we’re doing in the budget tomorrow night is backing in companies like Lintek with changes in the tax system will support them to do the work, to save and reinvest back in their businesses. That is what is important for the country. The budget, I'll hand down tomorrow night is a national economic plan for jobs and growth for a stronger economy. It's not a typical budget. This is not a time to be throwing money around, you have to spend money wisely, you have to target it and the ultimate test is will it drive jobs and growth. We’ll afford the things that need to be afforded in health and education and we have made our commitments plain there. We are not paying for those commitments by taxing Australians more, we have done the hard work of ensuring we have the savings in the budget to afford these commitments we are making in important areas like health and education.

QUESTION:

Does supporting these businesses involve a company tax cut?

TREASURER:

Well all of that will be revealed tomorrow night in the Budget. I noticed today that Bill Shorten says he wants to run the country like a union, well I can assure you in this budget we won’t be going to the accountant standards of the union movement. We won’t be going to the book keeping school of the union movement to put this budget together. We all know what they do when it comes to bookkeeping in the union movement and we all know what they do with credit cards in the union movement. Bill Shorten certainly wants to put Australia’s future on the credit card with a higher tax burden on the Australian economy. Putting a higher tax burden on the Australian economy will not support companies like Lintek here to drive the jobs and the growth that is needed for our economic future.

QUESTION:

Will there be any budget measures that will need legislating before parliament is dissolved?

TREASURER:

The budget will be legislated in the normal way.

QUESTION:

We are talking measures such as the income tax cut.

TREASURER:

I’ve just said the budget will be legislated in the normal way

QUESTION:

On this the Prime Minister said last night there will be tax cuts in the Budget. Will you try to legislate that before the end of this week and can workers at this factory at Lintek expect to see income tax relief tomorrow night?

TREASURER:

Again, those details will be spelled out in the Budget tomorrow night and the legislative program will follow the usual course. There will be some special appropriation bills that will come in to the House of Representatives today which deals with the unusual situation we have going to an election on the second of July, that will ensure a continuity of supply over the course of the election period but the budget will be legislated in the usual way.

QUESTION:

How many workers here at Lintek do you think will expect some tax cuts come tomorrow night?

TREASURER:

Well they’ll find out the same time you will tomorrow night.

QUESTION:

The asset recycling scheme is going to be used for public transport for both Melbourne and Sydney, that’s not what the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott would have done.

TREASURER:

How so?

QUESTION:

Firstly, that scheme was only observed for rail outside of the cities why has this turned around now?

TREASURER:

The Prime Minister made it very clear when he became Prime Minister that he knows that rail, and public rail in particular, is an important part the productivity and functionality of our cities and so we make no apologies for investing in things that improve Australia’s productivity, supports jobs and supports growth. The asset recycling initiative which was introduced by my predecessor and Tony Abbott has been a very important initiative for getting funds and to leverage state government in to turning assets they held before into more productive infrastructure now. The announcements that I’ve confirmed today are doing just, that this has been a positive partnership with the states and territories and its good to work with them - whether it’s on things like the Murray basin rail or the Melbourne metro or the Sydney metro these are important projects or up in Darwin with floor mitigation work these are important national economic projects which we are backing in.

QUESTION:

Taking into account full time, part time and casual wage earners is someone on $80,000 the average income earner?

TREASURER:

The average full-time earnings in Australia is $80,000. Thank you.