Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Questions without Notice


2:45 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

Both statements are true and not inconsistent with each other. The government has not made a decision to increase the rate of the GST but, as we have said very clearly, we have been engaged in a conversation with the Australian people and with the state and territory governments for some time about how our tax system can be made more growth friendly. Unlike the Labor Party, which ruled things in and out right from the word go, what we have said is that we will look at the tax system as a whole. When I last looked, the GST was actually part of the tax system. So when you are having a conversation about how you can improve your tax system that necessarily will involve a conversation about the GST and whether there are some improvements that can be made in the tax mix overall.

Let me confirm again that no decision has been made by the government to increase the rate of the GST. What we have decided is that we want to continue to strengthen growth and create more jobs and we want to build on the progress we have made over the last 2½ years in a second term of the Turnbull government, subject to the trust and the confidence of the Australian people. Of course, between now and the election we will be making our case on how we propose to strengthen growth and create better opportunities for people to get ahead, and people will see how Labor has not learnt the lessons of the past. It is at it again. It is yet again spending money it has not got. We as a country are working to digest Labor's last spending binge. This is not the time to go back to a spend, borrow, tax Labor government.


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