8 June 2018
Transcript - #2018110, 2018

Doorstop interview, Morayfield

Subjects: March Quarter National Accounts; tax relief for working Australians; national security.

TREVOR RUTHENBERG:

Folks, welcome to Longman, specifically welcome to sunny Morayfield, Scott good to have you here. Thank you. How nice is it here in the sun? It's wonderful. Look, the Longman by-election here we are. We're focused, one of the three major issues that keep coming up, as we're out talking to people, one of the three major issues is small business. In this electorate, there's about 12,000, 12,500 registered small businesses and they're the lifeblood for this area. We really need to be focused on how we can help those folks, in their endeavours, in their daily work and right here is a fantastic example, Gail and Mick have run this place now for 10 years, well known in the area, doing tyres, as well as servicing vehicles, it's a great example of a small business being focused, employing people, who are providing part of the economy in the local community, so thank you for coming up.

TREASURER:

Thanks very much Trev, it's great to be here and to visit with Gail this morning and see the business Gail and Mick have built up here over the last ten years, and they're one of the millions of businesses all around the country, but, as you say, of the 12,500 businesses here in Longman, they're the real heroes of our economy. These are the businesses that, through difficult times, don't take a wage as owners, they put their hand in their own pocket to keep their own staff employed here in businesses like this.

When times are tough, they make big sacrifices to keep people in work and to keep businesses like this operating, to support their clients, whether it's out on the road or here in the shop. And they are the real heroes of what we're seeing happening in our economy. Behind us is the humble ute. This one looks like it's had quite a bit of work done on it, out on the road and around here. But every time you see a ute out there on the streets, whether it's here in Longman or anywhere else, with a mobile phone or a little logo on the side, you know, there's another small business out there making Australia even stronger, and making our economy stronger. And we know that a plan for a stronger economy must be a plan for small business in Australia. And that's why we have cut taxes for small and medium-sized businesses. We have cut their taxes, not just their headline rate, but we have provided them with the instant asset write-off, which we've extended for a further year. And that instant asset write-off pays for so much of the plant and the equipment and the machinery that you can see around this shop, whether it's the tyre-changing tools that are there, or even some of the bigger pieces of equipment.

This equipment is the life blood of this business, and if they can't invest in that equipment and do it cost-effectively, then they can't run their show as profitably. So, that's why we are investing heavily in small businesses, whether it's here in Longman or anywhere else, because we know that's where the jobs get created, that's where the income gets generated, that's where the community gets supported, with businesses just like we are experiencing here today.

Now, there are many other issues in Longman, as I know, Trev, and another very big issue here is over 4,000 people who will be hit by Labor's retirees tax. Now, this is the dreadful tax which is going to hit people who have done nothing more than bought shares in Australian companies. For that, Labor is going to take away the tax refund that they would get from their investment in those shares that they are entitled to, like any other taxpayer. But there are 4,000 people here who will be hit with that retirees tax if Labor are elected. And in the Longman by-election, there's an important opportunity for those 4,000 Australians living here to tell Bill Shorten they don't want to have a bar of his retirees tax.

Another important part of that is small businesses. Small businesses buy shares in Australian companies and they claim the tax refunds from the dividend imputation to actually sustain them through difficult years. It also supports them in their retirement. Bill Shorten doesn't get it. He doesn't understand small business, he doesn't understand when people save for their retirement. That's why we're doing what we're doing in all of these areas. As you can hear, it's a pretty busy shop, they're doing a lot of work here. I think that's great and we want to make sure they keep doing it, and by supporting big Trev here in Longman, then you're ensuring you're supporting small business and a stronger economy.

QUESTION:

Treasurer Christopher Pyne says there's no rush to pass the foreign interference laws before the super Saturday elections, do you agree with this?

TREASURER:

Well, we'll deal carefully and sensitively with these very important matters of national security, as you'd expect us to do, and we'll seek to take them forward in the most timely way possible and the most sensitive and effective way possible.

QUESTION:

The Centre Alliance says they'll probably support income tax cuts as one package, meaning you're just one vote short for the crossbench do you think this can pass?

TREASURER:

Well, I believe it's a good, strong plan for a stronger economy to have lower personal taxes. Not just for some but for everyone. In the national accounts this week, what we saw was Australia moving back to the top of the pack when it came to economic growth. At the last election, we promised more jobs and growth. Jobs and growth. That's what we promised and that's what we've delivered. More than a million jobs since we were first elected. 415,000 last year alone. And 75 per cent of those, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, full-time. And we have been supporting small businesses, as I've just already outlined, with lower taxes. Lower taxes equal a stronger economy. Lower taxes equals more jobs. Lower taxes means people being able to earn more, keep more of what they earn, and spend it on a new set of tyres, like they can here - and that supports small businesses. So, I'm pleased that more of the crossbench are supporting our plan for lower taxes, be it for personal taxes or be it for business taxes, to ensure that businesses can remain more competitive. And the only disappointment is, is the Labor Party is for higher taxes. They're for higher taxes on businesses, they're for higher taxes on housing, they're for higher taxes on retirees, on family businesses, on your savings, all of these things.

Our personal tax plan is not funded by putting higher taxes on someone else. It's funded by having good, strong economic policies that grows businesses and grows our economy.

Well, it's been great to be here in Queensland with Trev. And I look forward to coming back and seeing some more of the issues around here in Longman. But what I do know is this: At this Longman by-election, at the last election, the Labor Party ran around, Bill Shorten in particular, and they lied to the people of Longman. They lied about hospitals, like they are lying again now. They lied about Medicare. They even didn't tell the truth about their own member, their candidate at the last election. Now, the people of Longman have an opportunity to correct that and to ensure that they have a good, strong member in Trevor, who understands business, who understands the economy, who understands what needs to be done to get some things really happening here in this part of Queensland, which will be heavily supported, I should say, by the $1.5 billion that we've committed in both this budget and the last budget to the Bruce Highway, all the way from Deception Bay, going right up through, past this electorate, supporting growth in this part of Queensland, which is incredibly important. So, we've got the infrastructure plan, the tax plan, the economic plan, and we're backing small business, and the outcome of that is there will be more utes on the streets of Longman, doing their job, running small businesses, serving customers, and creating a stronger economy. Thanks very much. Good to see you.