House debates

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Questions without Notice

Taxation: Income Tax

2:03 pm

Photo of Peter CostelloPeter Costello (Higgins, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

He could not name a single rate, he could not name a single threshold, and the one that he named of $175,000 does not exist. And then he said:

... I think at $175,000 then I think it cascades down the spectrum.

Tax thresholds do not cascade. Cascade is a form of beer. It is not a form of tax threshold. This would be amusing if it were not serious. The Leader of the Opposition does not know what the Australian taxation system is. He does not understand it and he should never be put in charge of people’s mortgages, their businesses or their jobs.

Underneath the glib responses, underneath the media stunts and underneath the practised indifference—where he still has his back turned as if he is in deep conversation about nothing so that he does not have to front up to this ignorance—there is no economic substance. He has never cared about economic policy. He has no interest in it. He has never understood economic policy. He was exposed as a fraud on productivity and we do not hear him talking about productivity very much anymore. And now he has been exposed as being naked when it comes to understanding the tax system.

The income tax system raises over $100 billion for government services in this country. If you do not understand the income tax system, you cannot understand the Australian economy. He is a Leader of the Opposition on trainer wheels—not coming to grips with economic policy, not understanding it and not being able to look the Australian people in the eye and say that he has an economic plan. He has no plan because he has no understanding.


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