THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
CHANNEL 7 SUNRISE
WEDNESDAY 9 MAY 2018
DAVID KOCH, PRESENTER: Joining me on the panel this morning - Justice Party Senator Derryn Hinch, Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi and Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek, good morning to you all.
Derryn, one of the key planks is the tax cuts for low to middle income workers. You’re happy with those?
SENATOR DERRYN HINCH: Look, on the morning after, I still think the way I did last night, having listened and sat and listened to the Treasurer, and I thought of Paul Keating’s ‘bringing home the bacon’ budget. Well, they didn't bring home the bacon but they’ve put enough in the frypan to cook up a decent meal for the election. For the Government, it is a good election budget, and the seven year plan does not fuss me.
KOCH: OK. Tanya, have you found many positives to the budget?
TANYA PLIBERSEK MP, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I actually haven't because so many of the cuts that were in previous Budgets that are still here. Cuts to schools, bigger cuts to TAFE. Cuts to universities. Cuts to specialists. All of these things and there's still an $80 billion tax give away to big business. So they can't find $14 a fortnight to give to pensioners for their energy supplement but they can find $17 billion to give to the big banks, despite the bad behaviour we are seeing at the Royal Commission, so I'm not very impressed. Labor will support the early tax cuts here, the ones that start on the 1st of July this year, so someone on less than $37,000 a year gets a four dollar a week increase - that's not much but it's better than nothing - and about $500 for the others. We will support those tax cuts because historic low wages growth, the cuts to penalty rates, working people need the help.
KOCH: What won't you support?
PLIBERSEK: We're not so keen on these tax cuts in the never-never, in seven years’ time. I mean who knows? Does anybody really think Malcolm Turnbull will still be Prime Minister in seven years’ time? We don't know what the global economy will be like, we don't know what the Australian economy will be like. We think we really need to have a much closer look at those later tax cuts. I don't think Australians really will cop that in seven years’ time things are going to be different.
KOCH: Yep. Cory Bernardi, what is your take on the budget?
SENATOR CORY BERNARDI: I like the direction the Government is moving in. The rhetoric is pretty good about lower taxes, flattening the tax structure. I'm concerned about their lack of commitment to a surplus, and I say that because there will be $33 billion worth of deficits in the next two years. The spending is all brought forward and the savings are out in the never-never. But there is one key principle that I think is absolutely wrong. They are effectively outlawing the use of cash in excess of $10,000 and the principle attached to that is wrong, because cash should be legal tender for whatever transaction you want. We already have a reporting requirement and I know this is leading to a digital currency, it is leading to the lack of privacy and that concerns me so I will be opposing that measure should I have the opportunity to.
KOCH: They are sort of saying, Derryn, are they, if you're walking round with $10,000 that you are a drug dealer or you're someone not declaring on your tax.
HINCH: The sad thing is, most of that is true. The one thing I do like about this Budget, really like, is the concentration on aged care. They’re going to put up a new aged care quality and safety commissioner. I like the fact that they going to get more pensioners to join the ski club, spend the kids' inheritance. Allow people to mortgage their own homes and get more money and more pension. They can spend that money and improve the quality of their lives. I like that and the fact that you can earn I think up to $300 a fortnight and not affect your pension. There is good stuff there. I'm disappointed that they have not looked at Newstart. I think that will be the big issue this year. Newstart will, I'm sure, will get a lot of cross bench and Labor and Greens support.
KOCH: It’s a bit stingy isn’t it?
HINCH: This is not about 20 year old pimpled kids who just don't want to work. These are 45, 55 year-old men and women who have been made redundant. It's just wrong.
PLIBERSEK: Kochie, there is something about the aged care thing that is troubling though. They're talking about 14,000 extra home care places. That is only 3,500 a year. In the second half of 2017, 20,000 people joined the waiting list for home care packages and it looks like this money isn't additional or new money. It has come from somewhere else in the aged care budget and that is a real concern. The Government need to come clean with where it's coming from.
BERNARDI: Shouldn't we be concerned about the inter-generational dependency? We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars more in the last 10 years and we are expecting other people to pick it up and pay for it. I don't think that’s good enough. I think ultimately we've got to live within our means and the Budget goes some way to doing that.
PLIBERSEK: Net debt has actually doubled under this Government. You are quite right to be concerned about that. Gross debt has gone through half a trillion dollars and it will stay at higher than half a trillion dollars for the next 10 years, more than the next 10 years, so you are right about the debt.
KOCH: The net debt to put it in perspective, it's about 19% of the value of the economy. So, you know, for the people at home, it's like having a home loan that is 19% of the value of your house. So, in low interest rates and -
PLIBERSEK: But Kochie, when it was half this, they were driving around the country in a debt truck saying there was a debt and deficit disaster.
KOCH: I agree, there is hypocrisy to it.
HINCH: Hang on guys, get a bit of perspective. They have finally got a Treasurer who said we're going to get into surplus and we’re going to get it back a year early, that’s something.
BERNARDI: Wayne Swan said that in 2009, Joe Hockey said it.
HINCH: Wayne Swan said it for years and he never achieved it.
BERNARDI: And that’s the question. No one believes these figures. They are rosy forecasts. They are built to be delivered after the election. This is a political fix of a budget. I think it moves in the right direction but it's about preparing the soil for an election and getting the Government re-elected.
KOCH: All right gang, thank you very much for joining me, appreciate it.