House debates

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Questions without Notice


2:15 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Today's Australian Financial Review reports that the Prime Minister is preparing to overrule the Treasurer in addressing the excesses in negative gearing. I quote a coalition MP:

Scott's definitely keeping it as a live option but the Prime Minister has effectively made up his mind.

Prime Minister, given the Treasurer has absolutely zero impact on the government's economic policy, isn't this proof that the Treasurer is one excess that the government can deal with?

2:16 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to respond to the question when it comes to negative gearing. When I was Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and prior to that, I got some very good advice from General Molan.

Mr Husic interjecting

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Treasurer will resume his seat. The member for Chifley will cease interjecting. Members on my left will cease interjecting. I am going to call the Treasurer in a second; the Treasurer can just resume his seat for a second. I remind members of what I have said about persistent interjectors. The Treasurer has the call.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you, Mr Speaker. General Molan gave me some very good advice—I wish those opposite had taken it. What he said is: you don't rush to failure. And that is what we have seen from those opposite when it comes to negative gearing. Because what those opposite have done is they have rushed out with a cobbled together policy which the shadow Treasurer says they were developing for eight months—something he neglected to tell the Leader of the Opposition just 12 months and nine months ago. They have rushed out with a policy which will ensure that one in three purchases of real estate in this country will be removed from the existing residential real estate market.

They have rushed to failure on this; but, by contrast, on this side of the House, we continue to work steadfastly and considerately through the options that are available to the government to look at the challenges that we face. And we will look at options. We will consider their impact on the economy and, particularly, on the markets that they may impact and then we will come to a considered decision.

What we will not do, which is what they have done, is cobble together a policy on negative gearing that will punish the nurses, the paramedics, the police officers, the servicemen and women of this country, the tram drivers, the train drivers and all of those who are the predominant users of negative gearing in this country. They think they are the problem, but we know they are the answer. It is these investors—it is these mums and dads, these people—who are working every day in our economy to make the transition of our economy a success. But those opposite, what they want to do is tax them and they want to keep taxing them whether it is a 50 per cent increase in capital gains tax or the other higher taxes they are putting on across the board. However, it is for only one reason they want to continue to tax: they cannot walk or move away from their addiction to spending. Those opposite will spend silly, if they are given the opportunity, and to ensure that they continue to do that, they will tax you as high as they can. That is no way to manage the transition of our economy.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Before I call the member for Denison, there are a couple of matters I want to address. I say to the member for McMahon, indeed to all members asking questions, whilst his last question had extensive quotes—and I am pragmatic enough to realise questions will have tag lines—some of the language is stretching beyond my tolerance. Because I want to be fair about it, I am not always going to allow a question to stand even when the minister is prepared to answer and the Leader of the House is not objecting. I am not comfortable with it and I am giving fair warning now. I am not going to allow an opportunity to rephrase either in some circumstances, if it warrants.