House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Questions without Notice


2:31 pm

Photo of Brendan O'ConnorBrendan O'Connor (Gorton, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. A leaked draft of the statement from the Business Council of Australia reveals that big business refused to commit to 'create more Australian jobs' if the Senate passed the Prime Minister's $65 billion handout. When big business won't commit to creating more Australian jobs, why is the Prime Minister so committed to giving big business a $65 billion tax handout?

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

The Leader of the House on a point of order.

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Leader of the House) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, the standing orders require that if a question has been fully answered it can't be renewed, and the question that the member for Gorton has just asked—

Opposition members interjecting

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

The Leader of the House will pause. Members will ease interjecting. They've obviously got very poor memories. I've been reluctant to throw members out. I've been reasonable, I think, but if they want me to set a record I'm happy to. The Leader of the House will begin his point of order again.

Photo of Christopher PyneChristopher Pyne (Sturt, Liberal Party, Leader of the House) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, the standing orders require that a question fully answered can't be renewed, and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's question was almost exactly the same, except maybe for the font.

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

I will stop you there. The problem is 'almost'. You're right that it needs to be identical, and it's not.

Mr Pyne interjecting

Leader of the House, I can take you to the page of Practice if you would like, but it is very, very clear. There is more than one word different. It's very clear. In fact, I could even take him back—I've got a very good memory—to precedents from when he was on the other side and arguing against just the point of order he's made. The Treasurer has the call.

2:33 pm

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

The coalition government and the Liberal and National parties are backing businesses to create more jobs and to support higher wages. That's what our policies are about. That's what we're doing. We've always believed that, and we've always acted consistently with our beliefs by backing people in business from small businesses to large businesses. They are the engines of growth in our economy. That's where higher wages come from. That's where investment comes from. That's where jobs come from. That's why, as a government and as Liberal and National parties, we have been committed to following through on our convictions and our beliefs to ensure we do the right thing for the Australian economy so that jobs can be created. And jobs have been created: 420,000 jobs have been created in only the last 12 months. We're only a few thousand jobs shy of the one million jobs that we promised would be created under a coalition government when we came to office in 2013. We are close to hitting that mark six months in advance of the promised period.

So we're sticking to our credentials. We're sticking to our commitments. We're sticking to our beliefs. But the Labor Party, the shadow Treasurer, the Leader of the Opposition and all the others over there used to believe in these things. They used to write books about these things. They might even have written songs about them. I've got no idea, but I do know that they used to believe them and, when they are asked to vote for them, they scurry off like rats from a ship. This is the problem with Labor. They used to believe this because they used to listen to people that made sense on economic policy.

So who are they listening to now? Who are they listening to now, and what other ideas do those people who they're listening to about tax in our economies? They are listening to GetUp! They are listening to the Australia Institute, that great middle-income champion of Australia. It's not a left-wing think tank, not at all! Of course it is. What's their view? They take much advice from the Grattan Institute. Here are some policies that the Labor Party are listening to. Put the family home in the assets test for the pension. Death duties. Death duties are what those they listen to propose. They propose scrapping the capital gains tax discount, putting capital gains tax on the family home and putting a tax on business for the fuel they use. These are the taxes that are being whispered into the ear of the shadow Treasurer, and he has demonstrated he has a great capacity to take up numpty ideas.