House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Matters of Public Importance

Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry

4:50 pm

Photo of Luke HowarthLuke Howarth (Petrie, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for Lyons for that contribution, but, unfortunately, it was a very partisan contribution—often what you get from Labor members opposite. I really fear for this country because, when I look around at many people opposite, all they engage in is partisan politics. Everything they speak about and everything they do is to win a political point. It is not about what is best for the people they represent; it is about how it helps them, how it helps the people that support them.

Government speakers have outlined what we've done since coming into government. It was rightly emphasised earlier by a government speaker that it was Liberal Party and National Party MPs and senators from Queensland who fought for the banking royal commission—fought for it tooth and nail. What did the Labor Party do in the six years of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government? Nothing. They weren't enthusiastic about a banking royal commission at all. This idea that somehow the government voted 26 times against it is a complete fallacy—absolute rubbish. As one of the members outlined earlier, it is the cabinet that recommends a royal commission be held, and the Governor-General takes it up. The fact is that we on this side of the House will proudly vote against the opposition when they are engaging in partisan politics and wanting to disrupt government business. They weren't so keen when the royal commission into trade union corruption was going on. Where were the speakers opposite then to implement it or to talk about the recommendations? They didn't want to know about it at all.

We will be implementing many, many recommendations, and we've already done a lot to better protect consumers from misconduct. We've also done a lot to ensure executives are held to account for misconduct. We've increased competition to give consumers real choice. We certainly have done a lot. We will make sure that we follow and adopt the recommendations that the commissioner has put forward. In fact, we've actually got the government's response to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry released right here. But what do we have from the opposition? Absolutely nothing at this stage.

When I'm talking to constituents in my own electorate, I often talk to them about financial education. It might be students; it might be young people that have just married or bought their first home. I'll talk to them about superannuation—about understanding it and, if they're employees, making sure that, just like they check their wages are paid every week or fortnight or month, they also check their superannuation has been paid and that they check it every few months to see how it's growing and how it's being invested. I'll talk to them about understanding basic concepts like tax rates—that the first $18,200 that we earn in this country is tax-free. So the first $18,200 that I earn, that the Prime Minister earns and that the Leader of the Opposition earns is tax free. For those working in the gallery, the first $18,200 they earn is tax free. With the Labor Party's policy for around $200 billion in new taxes over 10 years, we see that the shadow Treasurer does not want to give $18,200 tax free to pensioners and to retirees. He wants to tax them at a rate of 30 per cent from day one. So it's all right for me to have $18,200 tax free, and it's all right for the people up there and you members opposite to have $18,200 tax free, but if you're a retiree and you receive your income from shares you can't have $18,200 tax free; you're going to be taxed at 30 per cent. And what does the shadow Treasurer say? 'They're quite entitled to vote against us.' Well, I'll be telling everyone in my electorate to make sure they do vote against them, and I'll be doing my very best in May to make sure that I hold my seat, because the risk of a Labor government to this country, with their partisan politics, is bad for everyone. Considering that, for the first time since John Howard, we'll be returning a surplus in May, we don't need a $200 billion tax grab from you, putting your hand deep into people's pockets.

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