Wednesday, 28 March 2018
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Grey, and I note how hard he is working and advocating for his constituents. He recognises, as does the government, that we need to protect the prosperity of Australians and that every policy we pursue should be aimed at protecting that prosperity. A very crucial part of that is to design sensible policies that alleviate the tax burden acting as a handbrake on our economy. This government has cut taxes for small and medium-sized enterprises. We have relieved the tax burden on middle-income Australians, three million of whom will not pay higher taxes, as a result of our increase in the tax threshold. We remain committed to doing even more for those people.
The contrast with those opposite could not be clearer. They have proudly announced their intention to take a $200 billion tax sledgehammer to the incomes, livelihoods and prosperity of millions of Australians. That will directly impact upon our economy. Not only are they doing that but they are also doing it in a completely unfair and illogical way. Take their retiree tax 1.0, originally announced and lauded by the shadow Treasurer as carefully designed, despite the fact that it robbed hundreds of thousands of pensioners of their tax refunds. Now they have relaunched it as retiree tax 2.0, and again have fallen over each other to say how carefully designed and progressive it is. As was the case the first time around, it's all spin and no substance. It will punish people on middle and lower incomes.
Under their policy, someone on a $500,000-a-year salary who also receives hundreds of thousands of dollars of franking credits wouldn't be impacted at all. The total benefit of their tax already paid would offset their tax liability. What about an elderly, self-funded retiree with $18,000 in taxable income a year, including $2,300 in dividends, who has paid tax all their life? The Labor Party, under their policy, will pocket their $700 tax refund. Their policy does not make sense. Their policy will affect 875,000 retirees, wage-earners and even pensioners who dare to put their money into self-managed super funds from tomorrow onwards. Their retiree tax 2.0 is no better than 1.0. It is like putting mag wheels, a spoiler and a speed stripe on a Hyundai Excel. It's no good. Australians know it, and they know they can't trust this Leader of the Opposition with their money. (Time expired)