19 July 2018
Transcript - #2018152, 2018

Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

Subjects: Jobs figures; Parliamentary Budget Office

BEN FORDHAM:

Treasurer, good afternoon.

TREASURER:

G’day Ben.

FORDHAM:

Let me go to the jobs figures first, the unemployment rate steady, 50,000 new jobs created.

TREASURER:

That’s right, it’s great news. Particularly it was great news for young people we had the strongest growth of jobs for young people – that’s people between 15 and 24 years old – in a financial year since 1989. The best in 30 years. More than one in four jobs that were created in the past year were going to young people. The youth unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level since 2012. So, that’s great news. It’s fantastic to see young people getting into jobs.

FORDHAM:

The Parliamentary Budget Office is warning that we are going to become more reliant on revenue from personal income tax – is that true?

TREASURER:

This is not a new trend though. This is already factored into the budget projections and baselines going out over the next 10 years. That’s one of the reasons why we passed those laws to reduce the tax burden for people out over the next ten years because we knew bracket creep was going to be taking money out of people’s pockets. That’s why it was so important that we passed those laws and stopped that from happening. We could see that trend already occurring. That’s why we took that action. I note the report, I’m very aware of its findings and it’s actually things we were aware of and that’s why we’ve taken the action we did.

FORDHAM:

So, do we drop spending, do we find new sources of revenue, do we hike up taxes, I know that’s the opposite of what you’re doing.

TREASURER:

We do what we’ve got set out in the Budget, because the Budget already factors in all the things that were already noted in that report. The best thing you can do to grow your revenues is to grow the economy and see more people in work. That’s one of the reasons we’ve seen the Budget improving so much over the last few years, including for companies by the way. One thing that happens when you go through a difficult period, when companies don’t make profits, they build up some losses, they carry them forward for a few years but then they exhaust them, then they’re back in a profitably position and they start paying taxes again. That’s why keeping taxes competitive in the future is so important, so they keep investing because what they earn in the future they’ll be able to keep more of.

FORDHAM:

I don’t think anyone is going to be arguing about those income tax cuts, thanks very much for your time, Treasurer.

TREASURER:

Thanks Ben.