House debates

Monday, 18 March 2024


Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Accountability and Fairness) Bill 2023; Consideration in Detail

1:26 pm

Photo of Angus TaylorAngus Taylor (Hume, Liberal Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—I move amendments (1) and (2), as circulated in my name, together:

(1) Clause 2, page 2 (table item 4), omit the table item.

(2) Schedule 5, page 32 (line 1) to page 38 (line 23), omit the Schedule.

These amendments seek to split the Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Accountability and Fairness) Bill 2023 in order to deal with the PwC schedules separately to the PRRT measure. The important point about this is that these issues are completely different. On the one hand, we have the PwC and Tax Practitioners Board issue, which rightly should be considered by this place. It's a very important issue in the integrity of our tax and tax administration system. On the other hand, we have the PRRT. These are completely different issues. Only this Treasurer could think that these issues should be considered in a single bill.

This is how Labor does it. It's 'wedgislation', as they like to call it, where they put two things together that have no relationship to each other, and where they know those opposite to them will have a different view on the two things. There's a simple way to resolve that: split them. That's how you do it; it's not that hard. You just split it in two, and we can vote separately on the two different issues. But that's not the case for this Treasurer. We all have to remember that he's not interested in the policy; he's only ever interested in the politics. He likes to call himself Dr Chalmers, for a doctor he is, but he's not a doctor of economics; he's a doctor of spin, a doctor of politics, a doctor who plays politics every single day of the week rather than focusing on the issues that need to be focused on for the Australian people. It's the sort of thing that we've come to expect from this government.

It's important to understand what is in this PRRT legislation, because those opposite have brought a taxation bill to this place more than 15 times, having promised they weren't going to raise taxes before the last election. I am sure that there will be many more of these situations, because the one thing we know about this government is that whatever they say before an election is completely different to what they do after an election. That was certainly the case in this instance and has been the case on issue after issue in relation to taxation. We know their minister opposite here is going after unrealised capital gains. He sees superannuation as his honey pot—he told us so. It's not the honey pot of the person who invested in it. It's not the honey pot of the person whose money it is. It's the honey pot of the Labor Party and the union movement. But that's how they see it. We see cynical legislation—'wedge-islation'—in this place time after time after time.

We wrote over 100 days ago to the Treasurer and to the relevant minister, the Minister for Resources, asking that they answer some very basic questions about this PRRT legislation. The proportion of forward estimates revenue that is additional and the model impact of the tax on investment are crucially important. The Treasurer is relying on these projects for his budget, and he won't even tell us what the impact is going to be on investment and the medium-term costing of the measure. We laid out four very commonsense, sensible proposals for improving the prospects for the gas industry, and what we've got back from those opposite is little more than nothing. They are not serious about the future of the gas industry in this country. They are not serious about the strength of the economy in this country. The only thing they are ever serious about is their own politics and looking after their mates in the union movement.


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