House debates

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Questions without Notice


2:04 pm

Photo of Bert Van ManenBert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on how the government's plan for lower taxes will benefit working Australians and small business, including in my electorate of Forde? Is the Prime Minister aware of any alternative approaches?

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

I thank the honourable member for his question. We're ensuring that hardworking Australian families can keep more of the money they earn. Despite the opposition from the Labor Party, we were able to reduce personal income tax for middle-income and lower-middle-income Australians, with $530 coming back to over four million taxpayers in this financial year. The Labor Party voted against our comprehensive personal income tax reform just like they voted against our reductions in tax for small and medium companies, all of which are investing now and hiring, and that is why we're seeing that stronger wage growth. Of course, the other important element we're delivering is lower energy prices. We're turning the corner on energy prices.

There is a very straightforward question for the Leader of the Opposition to answer. I recognise that in his job he has some complex questions. He does. He has to work out how he's going to settle his preselection arrangements with the Victorian Premier. That'd be pretty complicated.

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

The Prime Minister will resume his seat. The Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order.

Government members interjecting

Members on my right! We're about to reduce the numbers in the House if members keep interjecting while I'm trying to hear the point of order. The Manager of Opposition Business.

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Manager of Opposition Business (House)) Share this | | Hansard source

It's on direct relevance. The question went to how the company tax policy of the government would trickle down to workers. That's what he should be relevant to.

Honourable members interjecting

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

I'll rule on the point of order when members are ready. It certainly did. It related to the topic of tax. The Prime Minister and, indeed, any minister can compare and contrast, but I'm sure the Prime Minister's finished the comparison and is coming back to the question.

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

I return to the choices. I was asked about alternative approaches, and, obviously, there is one that the Leader of the Opposition is considering. He's got to ask himself: is he going to support lower taxes and lower energy prices? We've already heard him. He says he wants to have not just higher taxes but higher energy prices. Lead—

Photo of Mark DreyfusMark Dreyfus (Isaacs, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Attorney General) Share this | | Hansard source


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

'Nonsense,' says the member for Isaacs. The Labor Environmental Action Network, or LEAN, says higher prices are a sign the market is working, so they think it's terrific. That's the Labor Party. They want higher energy prices and higher taxes. I know he's distracted by other important questions, some of them complex, technological challenges. Is the microphone on? What does the green light mean? Is the handbrake on? We've seen all of those questions, but he can put them aside. The simple question for Labor is this: do you want Australians to pay lower taxes and lower energy prices? If you want them to pay lower energy prices, the way forward is clear: support the National Energy Guarantee.