29 June 2018
Transcript - #2018135, 2018

Doorstop interview, Sydney

SUBJECTS: Tax, small and medium-sized businesses, GST

TREASURER:

Well, this week, Bill Shorten’s gone from a captain’s call to a captain’s fall, flat on his face when it comes to the issue of company taxes and particularly taxes for small and medium sized businesses. Labor were completely dazed and confused when it comes to their position on taxes on small and medium sized businesses.

What Labor announced today was that they are now going to put taxes up, not just for businesses between $10 million and $50 million in turnover over the year, but all businesses up to $50 million in turnover.

What we have legislated as a Government is to cut taxes for small and medium sized businesses from zero to $50 million, all the way down to 25 per cent. That has been passed into law. What Labor has said today is they won’t allow that to happen. They will put those taxes back up to 27.5 per cent. So it will be a tax increase for everything from the fish and chip shop and the hairdresser to the home-based business – at home baking muffins. Earlier in the week, they were hitting medium sized businesses. By the close of the week, they were hitting the smallest businesses of them all.

This week, the Shadow Treasurer became the Shadow Minister for Small Business – well, he’s showing that he only wants to take larger businesses and turn them into even smaller businesses, no matter how small those businesses are. Labor had promised small businesses of less than $2 million in turnover that they would support the tax relief that the Government had provided back in the 2016 Budget. Now they’ve walked away from that promise. They’ve broken their promise.

What we’ve also seen today is just a complete shambles of how Labor runs tax policy. And we’ve seen it before. We saw it with Labor’s retiree tax when they came out and announced it. This is a $5 billion a year tax on retirees taking away their tax refunds. They announced the policy and within a fortnight, they had to change the policy because they hadn’t thought it through and then we find out that their revenue estimates were out by $10 billion.

If Labor is this chaotic in opposition, just imagine what they would be like in Government. This is a Labor Party that cannot be trusted with the nation’s finances. They cannot be trusted with how much tax they expect you to pay. They cannot be trusted to deliver a stronger economy. A stronger economy that everything else depends on: hospitals, schools, our defence forces. All of these things depend on a Government that can preside over a stronger economy. Now, we have a plan for a stronger economy. We are implementing. We are seeing that plan pass through the Parliament. What Labor want to do is roll back that plan. They want to roll back jobs. They want to roll back growth. They want to roll back tax relief whether it is for personal income taxes or if you are just a small business trying to get by. Labor cannot be trusted on tax, on finances, or the economy.

QUESTION:

What do you make of Bill Shorten’s explanation of this back down by saying that smart politicians don’t just lead, they listen?

TREASURER:

Bill Shorten today demonstrated he is as incompetent as he is lacking in any knowledge of the Australian community, when it comes to the economy and how they rely on that, on what businesses do in our economy. He has shown a complete lack of sensitivity to what our economy requires to ensure that people have their jobs and their wages and can plan for their future with confidence. Bill Shorten showed again today he is just not up to the job. He is not up to the job of Leader of the Opposition, let alone leader of the country.

QUESTION:

What do you think it says about his [inaudible]?

TREASURER:

It says he does not have any. Bill Shorten is the sort of guy who at the end of the day believes in nothing and doesn’t know where he is going. If you don't know where you are going you can’t lead a country. You can’t even leave the political party. I think that is what more and more people in the Labor Party are seeing. This is a guy who doesn’t know what he is doing. And his Shadow Treasurer is no better. He has completely botched tax policy after tax policy now. Forced into humiliating back-downs time and again. Costing is out, revenue is out, at the last election he wanted Australia to have a $16.5 billion higher deficit. That is what he actually took to the election. Imagine what he would have done in government over the last few years had he been given that opportunity. The Labor Party have demonstrated time and again, they cannot be trusted with the nation's finances and you can't trust them when it comes to how much tax they want you to pay.

QUESTION:

When will the Government release the Productivity Commission inquiry into GST?

TREASURER:

We will be making that release next week and I will have more to say about that then.

QUESTION:

[Inaudible]?

TREASURER:

No, the Government has been considering this since receiving the report and will be releasing that soon.

QUESTION:

Do you have any idea [inaudible]?

TREASURER:

I will have more to say about that next week. Thank you very much.