Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Treasurer. In her last answer, the minister for revenue announced that the government wants a bipartisan agreement on the government's superannuation policies. Treasurer, is that in fact the government's position and does that mean the government is no longer committed to the half a million dollar retrospective cap?
No, Mr Speaker; in short, no. What I note, though, is that this government has demonstrated—
Mr Bowen interjecting—
You get to ask the questions; you do not get to say what the answers are. What happens in this parliament, under this government, is we do what we need to do to get measures passed through this parliament, because the Australian people elected every single member of this House and every single member of the other chamber. This government understands that we will pursue our agenda through the 45th Parliament and get the results that the Australian people expect from this government. In this week alone, more than $10 billion in budget improvement measures are passing through this parliament. That is a demonstration of the effectiveness of the Turnbull government in getting things done in this parliament.
It is true that we had to drag those opposite kicking and screaming over the course of a year as they backflipped on $47 billion worth of spending commitments, when they went to an election and said the best thing we can do for the economy is increase the deficit by $16½ billion. That was their plan. That is a plan to arrest growth, not to arrest debt. What we will do is pursue our agenda, we will pursue our budget, we will pursue the measures that are necessary to drive the economy forward to support the jobs that are necessary so Australians can improve their living standards. That is what we will do and we will get the results in this parliament, as we have demonstrated this week.
I thank, as I did earlier today, the shadow Treasurer for coming to the table in support of those measures, and I commend him for doing so. I thank the Minister for Finance my colleague Senator Cormann and his counterpart here in the chamber. But there is so much more work to do. We have $40 billion of measures, including $25 billion of expenditure savings. Those opposite are pretty much tapped out on their commitment to increasing savings through the budget. They have some other measures, and we will look at those and we will work together, whether it is on the health debt or the dental scheme or these other measures. But their big plan is to increase taxes. What they said at the last election was that they wanted to increase taxes on the Australian economy by $100 billion. That is what they said at the last election. That is not a plan for jobs and growth; that is a plan for staying in opposition where they are.