Thursday, 11 May 2017
Questions without Notice
I will firstly clear up what appeared to be some confusion on the other side. The government's Ten Year Enterprise Tax Plan began last year, on 1 July 2016. The cost over 10 years is, as I described, $50 billion, of which a little less than half, $24 billion, is the cost of the legislated saves—that is, legislated reductions—and that is companies with a turnover of less than $50 million. The balance, of around $26 billion, is for the larger companies that are unlegislated. In terms of 10 years from 1 July 2017, the cost is $65 billion—of which around $29.5 billion is for the legislated saves already, for reductions, for savings for business costs of the budget but legislated reductions—and $35 billion for the balance. Let us be very clear, the answer I gave was absolutely correct: it is a Ten Year Enterprise Tax Plan and it began on 1July last year.
All of the costs of the reductions in company tax are fully funded and set out in the budget. They are fully funded. The budget goes into surplus in 2020-21 and remains there over the medium term. That is all set out in the budget papers, and honourable members know it. That is unlike the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which the honourable members opposite did not fund. We are funding the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We are funding our educational commitments. We are funding the guarantee of Medicare. We are funding a reduction in company tax. And we are doing that because we know Australian companies have to be competitive. The fact of the matter is, if honourable members seriously think Australian business can compete with a tax rate of 30 per cent, when other comparable countries are at 20 per cent or 18 per cent—the United States is heading to 15 per cent—they are dreaming. Australian businesses need to be competitive. They need the incentives to invest. They need the incentives to employ. The cost of the company tax cuts are fully calculated, fully taken into account. Those cuts are vital to retaining the competitiveness of Australian business, of Australian workers, to ensure that they get the investment and the jobs they need.