TRANSCRIPT: Channel Seven's Sunrise, Wednesday, 4 May




SUBJECTS: Malcolm Turnbull's budget for big business over battlers.

PRESENTER, DAVID KOCH: There's been a mixed reaction to Scott Morrison's first budget. Business – small business – is the big winner, but a lot of people are feeling left out in the cold. Let's bring in Minister for Employment and Women Michaelia Cash, Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek, Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie. Good morning ladies. Michaelia, not a budget for families. A lot of Australian families are emailing our soap box, going onto Facebook saying, “what’s in it for me?”


MICHAELIA CASH, MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WOMEN: I absolutely disagree with you. This is all about families.


KOCH: How?


CASH: This is our economic plan for Australia. Because when you stimulate small business, when you grow the economy and you get the economy creating jobs, it benefits everybody. The overwhelming number of small businesses are family businesses. So when you back small business, when you lower the taxation rate for small business, you are backing Australian families. But in particular, in my own portfolio, an $840 million investment in our youth. What are mum and dads in Australia want more than anything for their kids? They want their kids to have a job. This is a government that unashamebly says the best form of welfare is a job and we’re going to work with your children, but also with the business community, to ensure your kids have a job.


KOCH: Tanya?


TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Kochie, I think you’re absolutely right – it’s not a budget for families, this is a budget for big business and high income earners.  $16,700 tax cut for people on a million bucks a year and actually, a family on say, $85,000 a year – because they are losing School Kids Bonus, they are losing Family Tax Benefit, they’re losing funding for hospitals and schools – they are actually worse off. In fact, people in that middle income group – even the ones that get this $6 a week tax cut are actually worse off because of the Family Tax Benefits and other changes; they’re going to go backwards. Three quarters of Australians get no tax cut because they are below the $80,000 threshold and of course –


CASH: [Inaudible] you introduced an electricity tax [inaudible]


KOCH: Hang on. There’s the two ends, let's go the middle. Jacqui Lambie. What is your view?


JACQUI LAMBIE, SENATOR FOR TASMANIA: You are not stimulating the economy when you still have $30 billion worth of Tony Abbott cuts sitting there that are lingering in the background which still have a terrible amount of stench to them. That’s the first thing. The second thing is they are going after the Tax A, the Tax B and they’re about to cut off the School Kids Allowance. You know what? Those stimulate small business because those people go out and spend that little bit of money they’ve got and into their local economy.


PLIBERSEK: That’s right. Michaelia was also talking about -


CASH: That's why we’re obviously increasing the threshold from $2 million to $10 million for small business to access the taxation concession.


PLIBERSEK: This is good old fashioned tickle-down economics: if you just make the rich richer everyone benefits.


CASH: Can I tell you [inaudible] that is a fundamental difference -


KOCH: If your boss is happy, and hopefully hires more people and a lot of jobs here-


[inaudible discussion]


KOCH: Let Tanya, let Tanya have a go.


CASH: $10m turnover is not a big business. It’s not a big business.


PLIBERSEK: That's why we support our tax cuts for actual small businesses with the turnovers of $2 million. But they are redefining small business to include businesses with turnovers of up to $1 billion. This is ridiculous. And as Jacqui says, all of the Tony Abbott –


KOCH: Up to $10 million -


PLIBERSEK: No, no, no, 10 million initially and over 7 years, it gets to a $1 billion threshold. That is ridiculous.


KOCH: To cut company tax all up.


PLIBERSEK: They’re calling that the small business tax cut – a billion dollars; that is ridiculous. Millionaires benefit, billion dollar businesses benefit, ordinary families miss out. And I think Michaelia is right to say that we need to get young kids into the workforce that is great. We have cut, up till now, $2 billion from vocational education and we’ve cut 300,000 apprentices from the system. So this is a small step back in the right direction after massive cuts.


KOCH: Ok, last say from Jacqui Lambie.


LAMBIE: We have a trade school problem in this country and you know I’ve rolled mine out, mine is a national service trade and apprenticeship scheme. Simply we need to look at that, you know, that we’ve done nothing about looking at drug and alcohol testing, random drug testing in Centrelink. So, you know, I just don't think they’re going to give it. More importantly, it's a small business, because if you are not feeding money into small business, people haven’t got money to spend on it, they won't employ people. They won't employ people.


CASH: That’s why we’re backing small business.


KOCH: All right, ladies, thank you for that. Eight week campaign starting this weekend – good luck.