Thursday, 21 June 2018
Treasury Laws Amendment (Personal Income Tax Plan) Bill 2018; Consideration of Senate Message
The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat straightaway! I am not going to have a long debate on this. It is incumbent on me when I have a message to read it. I regret the fact that the Manager of Opposition Business has now raised this when there have been many occasions where he has reminded me of just this fact when messages have come from the Senate—let me be blunt—in different circumstances.
Now, I have the call and I'm going to read the message. The following message from the Senate has been received. The Senate returns to the House of Representatives the bill for an act to amend the law relating to taxation and for related purposes, and informs the House that the Senate has agreed to the bill with the following amendments:
(1) Schedule 2, item 2, page 14 (starting at line 3), omit the table dealing with tax rates for resident taxpayers for the 2024-25 year of income or a later year of income.
(2) Schedule 2, item 5, page 15 (starting at line 6), omit the table dealing with tax rates for non-resident taxpayers for the 2024-25 year of income or a later year of income.
(3) Schedule 2, item 9, page 17, omit the table dealing with tax rates for working holiday makers for the 2024-25 year of income or a later year of income.
Mr Speaker, you just said it was the wish of the House to consider the matters together. I've got no idea when the House decided that. I don't know where you got that from. We haven't been consulted on that. If that's the view of the House, in your view, I don't know how you've arrived at that, unless it's only come from the government.
The Manager of Opposition Business has raised a point of order. I just have to point out, rather bluntly, that, as he well knows, this is the usual procedure that occurs. I've stated the question, which is that that the amendments be disagreed to. That's the question that I've stated.
Mr Burke interjecting—
The Treasurer moved it and then I stated the question. The Manager of Opposition Business.
No, that's actually not what happened. I ask the Manager of Opposition Business to resume his seat. I'm happy to stand corrected, but I was following that very carefully. I did say, 'I understand it's the wish of the House to consider the amendments together.' I then heard from the Treasurer, who moved that the amendments be disagreed to. I then said, 'The question before the House is that the amendments be disagreed to' and then heard your point of order. So the question before the House is that the amendments be disagreed to. I can't help that. That is the question that's before the House. The Manager of Opposition Business.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: ordinarily, if the will of the House is being determined, there is some level of consultation with the opposition. A series of events are happening this morning that are different to how procedure is ordinarily run, and I do ask how on earth the will of the House can be determined without any reference to the opposition.
No, I'm not going to accept that motion. The difficulty we find ourselves in is that an objection needs to be raised at the time. I called the Treasurer immediately and stated the question. I accept the Manager of Opposition Business then raised an objection, but it needed to be raised immediately.
Ms Catherine King interjecting—
I don't need the member for Ballarat interjecting into my left ear. She's not helping me and I suspect she's not helping the Manager of Opposition Business either. The question before the House is that the amendments be disagreed to. I can't roll back from that point. That is the question that's before the House.
Mr Burke interjecting—
I don't feel that I can. I've stated the question. So the question before the House is that the amendments be disagreed to. This is obviously open for debate. The member for McMahon.
I present the reasons for the House disagreeing to the Senate amendments:
Reasons of the House of Representatives for disagreeing to the amendments of the Senate
Senate Amendments (1, 2 and 3)
The amendments proposed by the Senate remove step three of the Personal Income Tax Plan. Step three of the Personal Income Tax Plan simplifies and flattens the tax system by abolishing the 37 per cent tax bracket entirely, reducing the number of tax brackets from five to four.
The Plan is a package that gives certainty to Australian families that they will keep more of what they earn in the future. It comprises three steps.
Step 1, prioritises low and middle income earners by providing tax relief of up to $530 to help with cost of living pressures.
Step 2, protects what Australians earn from bracket creep, ensuring that a pay rise, extra overtime or working more hours do not get eaten up by higher tax rates.
Step 3, by simplifying and flattening the tax system, ensures that, by 2024-25, some 94 per cent of taxpayers will face a marginal tax rate no higher than 32.5 per cent based on projections.
High income earners will continue to pay their fair share with the tax system remaining progressive under the Personal Income Tax Plan. For example, a person on $200,000 would pay around 13 times more tax than a person on $41,000.
In 2015-16, the top 20 per cent of taxpayers paid around 61 per cent of all personal income tax. Under the Personal Income Tax Plan, this cohort is projected to continue to contribute a broadly similar share in 2024-25.
In 2015-16 those on the top tax bracket paid 30.3 per cent of all personal income tax collected. Under the plan those on the top tax bracket will pay around 36 per cent of all personal income tax collected in 2024-25.
The Personal Income Tax Plan delivers lower, fairer and simpler taxes to all taxpayers.
Accordingly, the House of Representatives does not accept these amendments.
That the reasons be adopted.
I move that the following words be added after 'adopted':
'That the House further advises the Senate in respect of the bill:
(a) that last night, in an act of gross incompetence, this government teamed up with Pauline Hanson's One Nation to vote in support of a bill which abolishes all income tax rates from 2024;
(b) this is just the latest act from a government, consumed by chaos and incompetence, which has outsourced all economic policy to Pauline Hanson's One Nation;
(c) for years One Nation advocated flat tax. Last night, the government adopted the policy and set the rate at zero;
He is moving an amendment to the question before the House, and that is that the reasons be adopted.
Opposition members interjecting—
Members on my left aren't going to get to hear the rest of the Manager of Opposition Business if they keep interjecting. I'm just allowing the Manager of Opposition Business to simply move his amendment.
Yes, Mr Speaker.
(d) the government has also dealt with bracket creep by abolishing every tax bracket;
(e) the bill which was supported at the third reading stage by the government and One Nation—
The question is that the motion be put.
Honourable members interjecting—
Members on both sides will cease interjecting! I'm not going to have interjections of, 'He can't'. I'm going to hear from the Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order.
Mr Speaker, there have been previous occasions when I have risen and where you believed I was rising on a point of order, and I have then sought to move a resolution. You have said, 'No, you were called for a point of order,' and have not allowed the motion be moved. I ask that the same rule apply to what the Treasurer just did.
I'm just going to address this point of order. I understand why the Manager of Opposition Business is moving this motion and, whilst I don't like bellowing interjections of advice, the House of RepresentativesPractice is very clear on this matter. I'm prepared to say I can understand why it's confusing for some, if not for many.
I was hearing the Manager of Opposition Business move an amendment. The Leader of the House objected to that, but the Manager of Opposition Business is quite entitled to move that amendment. The Treasurer has now moved that the motion be put. The question before the chair is that the reasons be adopted. I will just read from page 308 of the Practice, which states:
'That the question be now put' may be moved while a Member is moving an amendment.
It can, and that is what the Treasurer has now moved. Now, to the Manager of Opposition Business on his point of order.
The point of order is that you called the Treasurer on a point of order, and when I have been called on a point of order and have then sought to move anything, you have said, 'That's not allowed,' that if you're called for a point of order that's the only reason you get the call.
No. The Manager of Opposition Business can resume his seat. I don't mind saying that I wanted to hear the Manager of Opposition Business's motion. The Treasurer didn't jump on a point of order; he jumped to move the closure and, whilst I might have preferred to hear the rest of the motion, the Treasurer's quite entitled to do what he did. He's moved the closure and the question before the chair is that the motion be put.
Just to the point of order: does that mean the ruling now is that if we do jump, that even if you believe it was a point order and we're jumping to move a motion that will now be okay?
No, what I have ruled is what the Practice states and what the rules are. It's very clear. I've tried to explain it as delicately as I can. I understand that while many members mightn't understand that procedure—I certainly didn't before I became Speaker—it's stated in black and white. You can move an amendment, and it can even be seconded, but, until that amendment is before the chair, the question is before the chair—in this case, that the reasons be adopted—and at any point the closure can be moved. I'm going to labour the point on this because I'm not going to have that reflection. Practice states:
… 'That the question be now put' may be moved while a Member is moving an amendment. If this is agreed to, the question on the original question is then put immediately. The motion for the closure of question may also be moved while the Member who has seconded an amendment is addressing the House and, once again, the closure applies …
I understand that's not widely appreciated, but it couldn't be more clear.
The Treasurer has now moved that the motion be put. That is the question before the House. This has existed for quite a period of time. I'm not going to go through all the precedents, but there are certain members who are very familiar with it. The question is that the motion be put.