House debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Questions without Notice


3:03 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. Today the member for Dickson proposed changing the GST on energy bills—a policy the Treasurer called a 'budget blower, an absolute budget blower'. Can the Treasurer confirm that, if the states lose billions of dollars in revenue from the change in the GST, there is a real risk they will have to cut spending on schools and hospitals as a result?

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

As I noted, that is not the government's policy and it would have the impact—

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

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

It is not the government's policy. As you know, a policy for the GST that affects the base requires the agreement of all states and territories. The Parliamentary Budget Office has costed a similar proposal. It's about $7½ billion over four years. Either that $7½ billion would not then go to the states or the Commonwealth would have to pay that additional money to the states. So that answers the member's question on the issue of tax.

Let me also say on the issue of tax that, today, the Labor Party voted to keep the big banks in the enterprise tax plan. We offered to take the banks out of the enterprise tax plan, and they voted to keep them in.

Opposition members interjecting

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

Members on my left!

Mr Shorten interjecting

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

It's true. The shadow Treasurer once said how important it was to reduce company taxes. He put it in a book called Hearts & Minds. I know what the sequel is—Feet in Mouthsbecause he is turning back on everything he believes in. I'll tell you what I believe. I'll tell you what the Prime Minister believes. We believe that Australians should keep more of what they earn. We believe that Australians who have a go should get a fair go and shouldn't have to pay the more than $200 billion in higher taxes that that shadow Treasurer wants to ram down their throats. We don't believe that this Leader of the Opposition should put his hands in the pockets of retirees and pensioners.

Indeed, today we said that the energy supplement will be restored to all new applicants.

Opposition members interjecting

Now they scoff! They had it in their budget costings at the last election to remove it, and they have never, ever produced another document to change their costings. They went to the last election, they said, 'Oh, they're going to take it off,' and then they adopted the same policy. There is so much hypocrisy when it comes to the Labor Party and tax, but, when it comes to the issue of belief in ensuring that Australians who work hard can to get ahead, they haven't got a clue. All the beliefs they once stood for they have abandoned. This Leader of the Opposition believes in nothing but himself.