7 May 2016
Transcript - #2016083, 2016

Doorstop interview, Emu Heights

SUBJECTS: 2016 Budget - A National Plan for Jobs and Growth; Ten year enterprise tax plan; Youth Jobs PaTH; Bill Shorten’s all politics, no plan budget-in-reply; Bill Shorten and Labor’s attacks on small business; agency appointments

FIONA SCOTT:

Well it’s great to be here today at Morgan’s and Zokoko Coffee and Chocolate here in Emu Plains, it’s wonderful to have such enterprising and innovative businesses here in Western Sydney like Dean and Michelle Morgan and their family.  This Budget has been fabulous for people in Western Sydney and our business growth, because it is going to build jobs and growth for our region.

Already this Government under the leadership of both Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison has seen the investment in infrastructure see our unemployment rate drop by over 2 per cent. That’s very good news for the people of Western Sydney and I’d really like to thank Scott Morrison for coming out to Western Sydney today to see the people of Lindsay to talk about how the Budget and how through the Budget we’re going to be providing more support for small businesses. So thank-you Scott for coming out.

TREASURER:

Thanks a lot Fiona, it’s great to be here today with the Morgan family, and Dean and Michelle, Ruby and Brielle, two little apprentices and trainees here as part of the business. This is a business that will benefit from the first of July this year by a cut in their taxes by 2 and a half per cent down to 27.5 per cent. It’s going to back this business in. They’ll also get access to depreciation pooling provisions and other incentives that are there for small businesses.  This is important, that businesses like this, that are growing, that are employing people, they’re employing young people, particularly out here in Western Sydney, that they get the support and they get backed in. Because it’s companies like this that are not only looking to innovate and expand their operations here at the site here in Emu Plains, but they’re looking to export as well. They’re always looking at new ways to grow their business, and we’ve got to grow with them. We’ve got to support them.  Now I’m very disappointed that Bill Shorten has decided this is a business that doesn’t deserve a tax cut on the first of July this year.

He’s saying that this family business, is not a small business. And if that’s what he thinks, again, he’s got no idea what’s happening in this economy. This is a great business. It’s doing great things. This is a family that’s taking risks. That has bought machinery and equipment to set up here in Western Sydney. They’ve made their home here over a long period of time and they’ve taken the risks to make that happen for them and their family. The other thing they’re doing is they’re employing young people and we’ve had a great chat today about the Government’s Youth PaTH Program.

The Youth PaTH Program is one that’s going to get people into jobs by listening to what young people have been saying to us, and saying that they need to better understand the expectations of employers and be able to get job ready and get to the starting line of a job. But also, listening to small businesses like Morgan’s here, who need to ensure that we de-risk that investment for them so they can take young people on.  Now again, I’m really disappointed that the Labor Party, Bill Shorten had the opportunity to make this a bi-partisan commitment, to actually ensure that on the other side of the second of July.  This could be seen as something that we could work together on. But again, he seems to be listening more to the unions who are opposing this plan than the businesses and the young people and places like the Brotherhood of St Lawrence and others who have come out and strongly supported this plan. We need to ensure that as our economy grows, that young people will be the beneficiaries also of that growth and that they don't get left out and have to get left on a life of welfare. So in this Budget we doing the right thing by backing in small businesses like this business right here. Like the real estate business I was in in Brisbane yesterday. Like the defence manufacturing business, I was in in Queanbeyan last week, these are small businesses Bill Shorten, and they deserve support and it's disappointing that you've had a lockout on businesses like this when it comes to giving a company a tax cut and it's important to back the Youth PaTH Program which will mean a lot to Fiona and Fiona has been a great champion of getting young people into work in Panthers here in Penrith and ensuring that we can get young people on the right track and the best thing that you can do for a young person and the best welfare to give a young person is a job. Thanks.

REPORTER:

Treasurer, are you disappointed that the Government seems to have lost momentum after the Budget due to the Prime Minister's handling of costings for the tax cut?

TREASURER:

I don't agree with that assessment at all. I think what we've seen out of the Budget is small businesses like the small business I'm in today, people in middle-income tax brackets can see that the Government is backing them in to grow our economy, to grow jobs, to have growth in the economy to ensure that we can meet the challenges of a transitioning economy. Small, innovative businesses like this one are the real beneficiaries. If you want to help people out there you have to help the people who are putting people in jobs. You know, by Labor not going ahead with the small business tax cut for businesses between $2 million and $10 million a year, that's 100,000 businesses across the country that employ 2.2 million Australians. The average employee numbers in a business like that is 22. That's not a big business. That's a small business. Bill Shorten needs to understand that. That's why we're backing those businesses in and we're getting great support for that and particularly the Youth Jobs PaTH initiative. This is getting great support from whether it is social welfare organisations, employers, young people. Because they know that it is common sense and they know that the Government is genuine about trying to get this right. So they should not follow the lead of their union mates and listen to what's happening in the community and on the ground here particularly in western Sydney where they know young people want to get a go and there are small businesses that are prepared to give them a go with the right sort of settings.

REPORTER:

We just had the first poll after the Budget. Only 7 per cent of people think they will be better off under the Budget, is that a problem with the policies or the sales job?

TREASURER:

The Budget is a national economic plan for the country. The Budget isn't about polls. The Budget is about laying out a national economic plan to ensure that the economy can transition from the mining investment phase of the mining boom through to a more diversified economy. One of the objectives that the Morgan’s have here is to actually sell their chocolate into Singapore. Yesterday we announced a ground-breaking new arrangement with Singapore. Our six-point plan is working through and ensuring that we are growing the economy, providing those export opportunities. A defence industry plan which is giving hi-tech jobs for the future. Ensuring they're investing in science and innovation, particularly in start-ups, to ensure that we’re providing the tax cuts for small businesses and hardworking Australian families and fifth, to ensure that we are getting the Budget back in balance by cracking down on multinational tax avoidance and ensuring that we're closing off those loop holes from the tax system, and finally, to ensure that we're putting in place affordable funding and guaranteed funding for schools and for hospitals and roads.

REPORTER:

I take your point about the polls. But 2014 probably failed to bring people along fully with the Budget there. Are you concerned that you're going to repeat those mistakes if people don't start coming on board?

TREASURER:

I think that we are taking people along with us and the Youth Jobs PaTH initiative demonstrate that. We're bringing employers along, we’re bringing young people along, we’re bringing those people along who are working in the community to ensure that we can get young people into jobs. The only people that don't seem to want to join that sort of a process are the unions and the Labor Party. The only people who don't seem to want to ensure that small businesses like the business we're here with today should not get a tax cut is the Labor Party. We think that they deserve to be backed because we know that that is going to drive jobs and growth for the future. What you got from me this week was a national plan for jobs and growth. What you got from the opposition was all politics and no plan and I think that that gives a very stark choice to the Australian people and they know where both of the major parties stand on those issues. Well, it sounds like the coffee is ready to bag so I think I'd better go and get ready to deal with that.

REPORTER:

Just quickly, Labor has been criticising the flurry of agency appointments and saying that it is a sign that you're worried you're going to lose. How do you respond to that?

TREASURER:

There's always things that need to be done before you go into an election phase. I was particularly pleased this week to announce the appointment of Dr Lowe as the next Reserve Bank Governor. And he’ll take up that position in September as well as Professor Ian Harper to the Reserve Bank Board. It's important for the continuity and consistency of markets to know what will be happening down the path. They are two very important appointments and we were able to finalise the appointment of Rod Sims for his continuing term at the ACCC. We've been going through the state consultation process for that and we were able to conclude that before the Prime Minister takes a drive out to Yarralumla. These are important commitments to ensure the continuity of Government as we go into an election period. We've made sure that those issues have been attended to because we're always getting on with the job of Government and that's what our national economic plan for jobs and growth in a stronger and new economy is all about. It will make a difference here in Western Sydney and for the Morgans, directly from July 1 of next year, it will make a difference here in Lindsay as Fiona knows and all around the country because it is the right plan for Australia. Thank you for your time.