Senate debates

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Questions without Notice


2:05 pm

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

Earlier today the national accounts for the December quarter were released, and they again show that Australia continues to successfully manage our transition from the largest resource investment boom in our history to broader-based growth and a secure economic future. We are as a country managing that transition despite global economic headwinds, despite global uncertainty, and of course the result today shows that real GDP in the December quarter grew by 0.6 per cent and by a strong three per cent compared to a year ago, up from a revised 2.7 per cent through the year to September. This is the strongest pace of through-the-year growth since the March quarter of 2014 and is consistent with the strength of job creation in the second half of last year. We are growing faster than every economy in the G7, and we are growing well above the OECD average—we are growing faster than the United States, faster than the United Kingdom, more than twice the pace of Canada, a comparable resource-rich advanced economy, and we are matching growth rates in economies like South Korea.

This has not happened by accident. This government has been working to implement our plan for stronger growth and more jobs. We have been implementing our plan to make our tax system more growth friendly, which involves scrapping Labor's carbon tax and the mining tax, which involves tax cuts for small business, and which involves an ambitious deregulation agenda, taking about $2 billion in costs out of the economy every year. It involves an ambitious innovation agenda, it involves an ambitious infrastructure investment program and it involves an ambitious free trade agenda, and of course in this past week we have added to these with an ambitious media reform agenda, initiated by my friend and colleague Senator Fifield—something that was in the too-hard basket for too long. My good friend and colleague Senator Payne delivered the defence white paper, helping to drive growth and innovation in our national security. (Time expired)


Tibor Majlath
Posted on 5 Mar 2016 11:11 am (Report this comment)

The problem with Labor's carbon tax was that everyone paid it unlike the Coalition's GST which is a burden mostly on households. Yet, how was it was possible to casually throw away $7 billion in carbon tax revenue when the budget was in crisis? Forgive me, but it doesn't make sense unless that revenue now comes from somewhere else in order to pay for those small business tax cuts.

The mining tax (MRRT) collected little yet was such a burden on the coal and iron ore sector. Why was the MRRT abolished when the Labor government's onshore extension of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax the expanded petroleum tax which was introduced on the same day in July 2012 as the mining tax was enthusiastically embraced and retained by the Coalition? Why was that?

The PRRT works in a similar manner but the difference is that it collects a healthy revenue. No wonder there was such a a hypocritical campaign mounted by the Coalition against one and not the other. A tax which collects little was easier to abolish in order to make political mileage.

As usual, there is no consistency in policy driven by vested interests.

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