House debates

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Tax Laws Amendment (Foreign Source Income Deferral) Bill (No. 1) 2010

Second Reading

11:40 pm

Photo of Bernie RipollBernie Ripoll (Oxley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I congratulate the Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, who is in the House here, for the work he has been doing in reducing the compliance costs and burdens for small business. They are the backbone of Australia—there is no question of that. Whether it is corner shop type small businesses, small manufacturing businesses, Australian fund managers or people working in the financial services sector, if we can reduce their compliance costs, reduce their burdens, give them more opportunities to export their skills and services and provide mechanisms to put downward pressure on costs and fees—to make it more affordable for ordinary Australians—then I think we are on the right track. That is exactly what we have been doing. That is exactly what our agenda is. When people question how all of these things link, that is the explanation I give them about what our agenda is and where specifically we are trying to head into the future.

The amendment we have put forward today is one of a number of amendments that I have spoken on this week. This week is an important week—it is the last week of the sitting before we go to the winter break. It is good to see that the government has had the capacity to deal with these very important reforms. I know some of these reforms may not seem too sexy to some members of parliament or even ordinary members of the community who may not be quite aware of the importance of some of these technical changes, but these amendments very much will form part of ensuring Australia’s future sustainability in a whole range of areas, such as the way we are managing budgets and ensuring that we can maintain health budgets into the future. I do not know how many members of parliament have understood just how much the underlying costs of health actually represent. If the federal government does not do something today, by 2026 the complete budgets of every state and territory in this country will be consumed by health spending alone. I think it is an important point to note because you need to make decisions today that will have a massive impact into the future, and that is exactly what we are setting about doing. We are doing that through a whole range of different methods: increasing people’s retirement security by increasing compulsory superannuation contributions from nine per cent to 12 per cent, looking at better forms of taxation through a resource tax to make sure that all Australians share the wealth of this country and sharing in the potential that exists there today through better taxation methods.

In summing up, I thank the House for the opportunity to say some words on the amendments of this bill. While on their own these amendments may not seem that important, they certainly are to the people they affect. The legislation is an important part of Australia’s strategic direction into the future, to make sure we have the right balance. I think we have that, and I commend the bill to the House.


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