3 May 2016
Transcript - #2016066, 2016

Interview with Catherine McGrath, SBS World News

SUBJECTS: Budget 2016

McGRATH:

Treasurer, this is an election budget, but is slugging smokers and high-income earners the way to do it?

TREASURER:

It's not an election budget. It's not just another budget. It is a national economic plan for jobs and growth for a stronger new economy.

Our economy is transitioning from the resources investment boom through to a more diversified broad economy. We are connecting with markets around the world and the ones leading the way are small and medium-sized businesses and what we have done tonight is given an enterprise tax plan that backs those small businesses and we've been able to afford that through the change to the tobacco excise. The difference is we have got our numbers right and Chris Bowen's got a $20 billion black hole which means he can't fund his education commitments.

McGRATH:

So for smokers in Australia, eventually paying $40 a packet, that's ok?

TREASURER:

Well we would like to discourage people from smoking. And that's public health policy 101. And we'll continue that policy.

McGRATH:

Superannuation. The people at the very top will pay, will superannuation be fair now?

TREASURER:

I think it will be much fairer. We are extracting $6 billion in additional revenue out of the top 4% of those who have wealth accounts if these retirement accounts in superannuation and across the retirement system. We are investing that $6 billion, $3 billion back into better funded superannuation support for those on lower incomes, those with disrupted work patterns, carers, particularly women, and couples, as they build their family superannuation. But we are investing half of that back into enterprise tax cuts and cuts for middle income earners in Australia.

McGRATH:

Treasurer, one issue being raised tonight by the Labor Party and some people in the health sector, the community sector, they are saying this is not a fair budget. Labor says, for example, it's one for big business, not for battlers.

TREASURER:

They are deluding themselves and what we have done tonight is focused our tax support for those in small and medium-sized businesses. I mean, who do the Labor Party think will create the jobs these are small businesses between $2 million and $10 million who we are backing in, backing in to go and do exactly what they are doing now, finding new markets, putting young people on. Tonight, we have announced a $750 million plan taking funds from programs which we don't think are working that well and we are putting into de-risk taking on young people into your business and supporting young people, getting alongside then and giving them mentors and support that helps then to get in those jobs and stick in those jobs. I want to see young people be able to not live a life of welfare dependency. I want to see them have the choices that comes with a real job comes with having a real job.

McGRATH:

In the Budget last year we spoke to the Treasurer then particularly about multicultural youth. Huge unemployment rates. But yet not enough improvement. Any joy for them tonight?

TREASURER:

Particularly in communities, like South-West Sydney, where I'm very familiar with my good friend Jamal and the fantastic work that the LMA and the others do in that part of Sydney, one of the key things you have got to do is get these young people into jobs and get them connected. You can do it through myriad of ways. And there's some very innovate people working in that area. What I announced will actually support much of what they are doing. So I want them to have a future where they see themselves in a job.

McGRATH:

Treasurer, thank you very much for speaking this evening to SBS World News.

TREASURER:

My pleasure to be here.