House debates

Tuesday, 13 February 2024


Treasury Laws Amendment (Cost of Living Tax Cuts) Bill 2024, Treasury Laws Amendment (Cost of Living — Medicare Levy) Bill 2024; Second Reading

6:25 pm

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | Hansard source

They did, I hear the shadow Treasurer say. They were law. They weren't going to be changed; they weren't going to be altered. They were part of what Labor said: 'Trust us. Vote for us. All will be well. All will be right. You can count on us.' Well, the Australian public now know that they cannot count on Labor. They can't count on Labor when it comes to stage 3 tax cuts.

They can't count on Labor when it comes to much of anything. What we have seen from this Labor government since it came to power in May 2022 is a change to the Murray-Darling Basin, where productive water is going to be taken away from farmers and given to the environment. That's going to cause less food to be grown, that's going to cause local grocery prices to go up and that's going to cause imported food to come into this country at a higher rate than what was otherwise the case. What we've seen is Labor put in place a truckie tax. What we've seen is Labor put in place a biosecurity tax just this week, where Australian farmers are expected to pay for the biosecurity of imported products from overseas. I mean, in what parallel universe would that otherwise occur? It wouldn't happen in any other country. You wouldn't see Australian products going to any other country and their farmers being expected to pay for our food coming in and the biosecurity thereof. It's just ridiculous.

Those opposite declared before the 2022 poll that they would do politics differently. 'Trust us,' they said, 'we'll be more transparent. We'll be more accountable.' Well, it hasn't occurred. It hasn't materialised. The Prime Minister has backflipped on a key election promise, and if he's prepared to backflip on this, what else is he prepared to do? What else is to come? What else is Treasury modelling, as we speak, to hurt the Australian public, to hurt Australian investors, to hurt Australian families and to hurt Australian small businesses? I know it sounds glib and trite, but small businesses are the backbone of the economy. They are, and they're not getting any joy from this government. They're not getting any hope from Labor.


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