THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
TUESDAY 26 JUNE 2018
SUBJECTS: Tax policy.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Well last week, Government MPs voted themselves a $7,000 a year tax cut, at the same time as voting for a tax cut of basically ten bucks a week for your average worker. It means that politicians get a $7,000 a year tax cut, while nurses, police, paramedics, manufacturing workers, hospital workers, teachers, tradies get as little as $10 a week. Labor's got a bigger, better, fairer tax plan and people can check out for themselves how much they would be better off under Labor’s plan by checking out the Bigger Better Fairer website for themselves. Essentially 70 per cent of Australian taxpayers would better off under Labor’s bigger, more generous tax cuts. But we make no apologies for directing the bulk of those tax cuts on people on low and middle incomes because they're the ones that have been doing it tough, they're the ones that have seen historic low wages growth. They're the ones who are struggling to make ends meet week to week, particularly in the face of high energy prices and other cost of living pressures.
This week, after last week voting themselves a big tax cut and not much for people that are low or middle income earners, this week the Liberals are back at it, voting for an $80 billion big business tax cut. Seventeen billion dollars to the big banks that are right now going through the banking Royal Commission which is showing so much poor practice in the banking industry, so much unfairness in the banking industry, particularly for farmers, small businesses and for just ordinary banking customers. The banks will get a $17 billion tax cut at the same time as Malcolm Turnbull is cutting $17 billion from our schools. Now I really think if you stopped the average Australian in the street and said 'Would you rather give a big business tax cut to the banks, or would you rather properly fund our schools?' I know what most of them would say. I am very strongly urging Pauline Hanson's One Nation to stick with the public commitments they've made which is that they won't support the big business tax cut. One Nation has voted with the Government 100 per cent of times in this calendar year. It would be devastating if they agreed to this big business tax giveaway, remembering that the Business Council of Australia's own members have been upfront with what they'll do with the tax cut. They'll plough it back into their companies, they'll give it to shareholders as profits. What they won't do is create more jobs, invest in Australia, reduce offshoring and pay their taxes. We know that because they were asked to sign a letter to that effect by the Business Council and they refused to do so. They weren't prepared to put pen to paper to guarantee that they would pay their workers more, pay their taxes, invest in Australia and reduce offshoring.
So this week will be a test, not just of the Government, but it will be a test of whether One Nation is prepared to stick up for Australia and stick up for Australian jobs by rejecting these big business tax cuts. Any questions? Thanks everyone.