Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Matters of Public Importance
Labor, including the member who is interjecting, went to the last election very proud of their $387 billion of higher taxes. But now they've all had a conversion on the road to Damascus: 'Oh no, when we said that we supported the retirees tax, slugging Australian retirees, or our housing tax, or our superannuation tax, or our family business tax, we didn't really mean that. No, we've all had a great conversion.' The Australian people know that, and the Australian people are far too smart for the Labor Party. They know that the Labor Party truly believe in those things.
Their unwillingness to outline what they would do, their unwillingness to outline an alternative budget tomorrow night, is a very convenient way to try to sneak into government without saying anything and then have all of those higher taxes in their back pocket. I don't think it's going to work, quite frankly, because I don't think the Australian people are going to write a blank cheque for the Labor Party. I don't think they're going to write a blank cheque for the weakest economic team that we've probably seen in an opposition in this country—an extraordinarily weak team with a Leader of the Opposition who's never delivered a budget, who sat on the expenditure review committee for all of six weeks and who spent six years doing nothing in the most dysfunctional government that Australia has seen. We've got a shadow of a shadow Treasurer who was Wayne Swan's brain. He took that as a compliment when I used it in the House once upon a time. It's not meant to be a compliment, I assure you, being Wayne Swan's brain—the shadow Treasurer who wrote the immortal line, 'The four surpluses I announce tonight', which is seared on every political boffin's mind.
So, the Labor Party have a big test tomorrow night. We think they're going to fail that test, but we hope they rise to the occasion and outline an alternative budget and their plan for this country—which they don't have.