22 June 2018
Transcript - #2018124, 2018

Doorstop interview, Canberra

Subjects: Lower, fairer and simpler taxes for all working Australian; Enterprise Tax Plan

TREASURER:

Wherever you are in Australia – whether you're already at work, you're on your way to work – as a result of what happened in the Parliament yesterday, you're facing a future of a lower tax rate under the Coalition Government. This is good news for all working Australians, and I stress all working Australians because our personal tax plan is there for everybody who goes out to work every day and pays taxes. It's not just for some, but for all because we recognise that it takes all Australians to get out there and do their best and be rewarded for the effort they put in. Not to pitch some against others, not to demonise some and tax them more to pretend you're taxing others less. It's important that you have a tax plan that delivers right across the board for everybody who's out there putting in and that includes people running businesses as well, particularly small and medium sized businesses and we've got an Enterprise Tax Plan, as Australians know, that's designed to also give them reward and incentive for the effort that they're putting in. Our personal tax plan, our Enterprise Tax Plan is part of a broader long-term plan for a stronger economy because a stronger economy is what you need to guarantee the essential services that Australians rely on to keep Australians safe to ensure that the Government can live within its means – not just see taxes skyrocket into the future. Our plan achieves all of these things, that's why it has been so important that we stick to our plan. That's what we've done here in the Parliament. We've stuck to our plan on personal income taxes. We've been sticking to our plan on making business taxes more competitive to protect people's jobs, to drive the investment, to ensure that there's the opportunity for wages to boost. This is what our plan is all about. So wherever you are today – whether you're already on site, whether you're already at work, whether you're on your way to work – our tax plans are ensuring a more secure future for you and your family. They've passed the Parliament when it comes to the personal tax plan – that shows once again that the Turnbull Government is getting on with the job. Our plans are being turned into law, the Budget is being passed – that I outlined in May – and that means Australians can have even greater confidence about the essential services they rely on because that is dependent on the stronger economy that we're delivering.

QUESTION:

When you say you're sticking to the corporate tax plan is there room for the manoeuvre to compromise with the cross bench to make changes?

TREASURER:

We believe the Enterprise Tax Plan – as we've set it out now for more than two years – we took it to the last election and it was affirmed at that election by us winning that election and we've continued to prosecute it now over the last two years. We'll continue to do that into next week as well but we'll continue to engage with the crossbench because the Labor Party is rejecting that plan. The Labor Party is for higher taxes, we are for lower taxes. We are for more competitive taxes. The Labor Party wants to see taxes continue to rise. Not just on businesses, just not the extra $70 billion they will put on Australians in higher personal taxes if they are elected but higher taxes on housing, higher taxes on superannuation, higher taxes on family businesses, higher taxes on retirees –a $5 billion a year tax on retirees, and Bill Shorten talks about him giving tax relief to people. He's 'unbelievaBill'.

QUESTION:

So there is room to move, there is room to compromise?

TREASURER:

I think what we've demonstrated in how we've worked with the Parliament and with the Senate is we've shown a lot of respect, we've listened, our ears aren't painted on when it comes to talking to the Senate and they shouldn't be but equally, I think we've shown the determination to pursue the plans that we believe are the best for the country and we've been able to strike a position in the past and as recently as yesterday, we've been able to gain support for our plan so we will continue to listen, we'll continue to work with people but ultimately, we also want to achieve the objectives that we've set out for ourselves with these plans.

QUESTION:

Is a cap of $500 million out of the question?

TREASURER:

We don't negotiate in the media.

QUESTION:

On the income tax cut, it wasn't that long ago that the Government was talking about finding ways to increase revenue – the bank tax, the Medicare levy – seven years now, we're talking about giving money back to those who are a little bit better off than others. Is it understandable that many out there are saying, "How can we afford this?" when we've been on such a dramatic…

TREASURER:

Our personal tax plan delivers for low and middle income earners first – first. That's who it's targeted on, that's who gets the relief first. If you're a middle income family, a two income family, this can mean more than $1,000 to you and your family in the first stage of this tax relief that we're providing and then in the second step, we're dealing with bracket creep. In the third step, we're making the tax system simpler. What we've got is a long-term plan. Labor doesn't have a plan. We've a long-term plan. The number of times that – I've been in this place for more than a decade – and the number of times that Australians say, "Gee, I wish the politicians and the governments and all those people down there in Canberra were focused on providing long-term plans so I can have certainty." That's what the Turnbull Government has done. We've done it with the Enterprise Tax Plan, we've done it with the personal tax plan, we've got a plan for healthy ageing in Australia, we've got a plan for a 21st century medical industry, a defence industry plan. This is all part of our plan for a stronger economy which everyone relies on. Every job, every dollar you save for your retirement, everything you rely on in this country, your services depend on a stronger economy so that's what we're doing and we're making great progress on it.

QUESTION:

Can you concede it's a big U-turn though?

TREASURER:

We've always been for lower taxes. This isn't the first time this Government has cut taxes…

QUESTION:

You were raising them…

TREASURER:

We increased the threshold in my first Budget from $80,000 to $87,000 which has already ensured that half a million Australians do not go on the 37 cent tax rate. In this Budget, from 1 July this year, another 200,000 Australians will not go onto the 37 cent tax rate because of the personal tax plan. We've cut taxes for small and medium-sized businesses, we have cut taxes for start-up businesses, we have cut taxes for people right across the board including first home buyers. In last year's Budget, we had an incentive for first home buyers to be able to put their first home deposit savings in their superannuation fund and pay less tax. We have always been a Government that sought to lower taxes wherever we can.

QUESTION:

Were you surprised by Rex Patrick's comments in effect and I think a couple of the others that he passed the tax plan because he hopes that Labor will get into government and then repeal stage three?

TREASURER:

What he has basically confirmed is that Labor are for higher taxes. If Labor are elected, there will be more than $200 billion of additional taxes put on the Australian economy. Think about what that means for your job, for your wage, for your financial future. I said in the Budget this year that it was about the next decade of the economy you will live in. Think about the economy that you would live in under Labor with $200 billion of extra taxes across the board, another $70 billion on top of that in extra taxes on personal income tax, think about what that will mean for the economy you will live in for the next decade. It's a very clear choice. You will pay more under Labor. Australians cannot afford Labor, Australians cannot trust Labor. Thank you very much.