House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Questions without Notice


2:07 pm

Photo of Bill ShortenBill Shorten (Maribyrnong, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to my previous question and the Prime Minister's public failure in question time to commit to taking his $65 billion corporate tax cut to the next election. We welcome an election on this issue. So I ask the Prime Minister again: will the Prime Minister commit to taking his corporate tax giveaway to the next election—yes or no?

2:08 pm

Photo of Malcolm TurnbullMalcolm Turnbull (Wentworth, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Our commitment is to get the tax enterprise plan passed in this parliament. And I can assure the honourable member that we are committed to it. We will be committed to it today and we'll be committed to it at the next election, and we welcome a contest with the Leader of the Opposition on tax. We welcome it. We welcome a contest on jobs, because that's what it's about. It's about creating jobs. It's about creating the incentives for jobs. We know that every statement the Leader of the Opposition has made about company tax will be used against him, and Australians will see what a turncoat he is!

This is a man who stood up here and went on about company tax and creating more jobs. His partner there, the member for Lilley, stood up and said it would add hundreds of millions of dollars to government revenues, a big productivity dividend. He said it would put $450 extra into the pockets of Australian workers. That was only a one per cent cut in company tax. That's what the member for Lilley said. He said it standing here, just as the Leader of the Opposition said it standing here, just as Julia Gillard did and just as Paul Keating did.

There was a time when the Labor Party recognised that lower business taxes result in more business. There was a time when they recognised that having an uncompetitively high company tax rate holds back Australian businesses. The member for Fenner made exactly that point. The member for McMahon wrote a book about it. And now they are all in denial. It is like some sort of Soviet-era blanking-out of the past. That's what they want to do. They want to pretend none of those statements were made. Well, they were. Australians remember them and they understand that. They understand not only the economics and they understand not only the need to give a business the opportunity to invest and employ: they understand that it means the Leader of the Opposition cannot be trusted.

He has said one thing in government and now he says the exact opposite in opposition. He said lower company taxes encourage investment and higher wages in government, and now he says it's just a giveaway and we'll reduce the money available for hospitals and schools. What nonsense! Higher productivity, higher investment and more wages increases government revenues, just as the member for Lilley said in his budget paper in 2010. He did. He can't deny it. We've got it. We remember it all so well.