House debates

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Bills

Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill 2016; Second Reading

1:02 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

The member for Hughes has a revelation that I have written a book or two, which is welcome. Yes, that book argues for better funding for education, over many pages. That book argues for funding for research and development—will we hear about that? We are not going cop a lecture from this Prime Minister about consistency and standards in public life. This is the Prime Minister who took the Prime Ministership and has sold out everything he ever believed in—this joke of a Prime Minister who stands for nothing but his own ambition; this joke of a Prime Minister who harangued this parliament yesterday not about a million Australian families, not about the need to provide those families with more relief but about his obsession with the Leader of the Opposition. That is what we get from this Prime Minister.

We have a Prime Minister who is devoid of values and a government that is devoid of agenda and devoid of strategy. All they have to fall back on is a $50 billion corporate tax cut. This parliament should debate this. I am glad that, nine months after it was brought in, we are finally getting the chance to debate this legislation. I will tell you what else we should debate: a second reading amendment. I move:

That all the words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

“the House declines to give the bill a second reading as the:

(1)Government has failed on fiscal policy, tripling the deficit and increasing net debt by $100 billion, and putting our hard-earned and coveted triple A credit rating at risk;

(2)Prime Minister and the Treasurer have failed to deliver the economic leadership that this country needs and deserves; and

(3)Government’s plan to give a $50 billion tax cut to big business is not affordable in the current fiscal and economic circumstances.”

The government has supported other second reading amendments in the past; they should support this one, because it is a good one. It calls it as it is and says that budgets are a matter of priorities, budgets are a matter of choices. The government has made its choice. As I said, in a perfect world, if we had the budget in balance, corporate tax cuts are something this parliament could decide on and could embark on. But when we are at grave risk of losing the AAA rating on this Prime Minister's watch, when we have a return to budget surplus which is predicated on zombie measures which shall not pass the parliament then, in our view, this parliament cannot make that choice. We cannot make the choice to engage in that $50 billion unfunded corporate tax cut. We can make different choices. We will stand for schools, we will stand for better funding for hospitals, we will protect Australian families to the best of our ability with our votes in this House and the other House, and we will not lend our support to this particular piece of legislation.

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