Senate debates

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Matters of Public Importance


4:30 pm

Photo of Peter Whish-WilsonPeter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

If it were Friday afternoon, you could be forgiven for thinking we had had a claret run in this place. Then again, I suppose it is good to let off some steam. While we are having some fun, perhaps we can play our own version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? My first question is: which big parties in this 45th Parliament voted for a tax cut for millionaires? I will give everybody five seconds to think about it. Which two big parties in this parliament voted for a tax cut for millionaires?

Senator Polley interjecting—

You are right, Senator Polley; it was the Labor Party and the Liberal Party. Not long ago we had the Treasury Laws Amendment (Income Tax Relief) Bill, one of the first bills that passed through this Senate, which gave a tax cut to everyone in this country on an income above $87,000. So it is fascinating that we have this debating topic today, put up by the Labor Party—

Senator Polley interjecting—

I will call out hypocrisy when I see it, Senator Polley; no doubt you are working very hard to cover up for that. But let us not forget. Let's go to question 2 of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?Which party fought really hard and publicly opposed the most significant legislation we have seen tackling multinational tax avoidance, 'the Marles laws'? That was in the 44th Parliament, to add a degree of difficulty to the question. Which big party opposed the most significant legislation this parliament has seen on multinational tax avoidance?

Senator Dastyari interjecting—

Yes, you are correct, Senator Dastyari; it was the Labor Party. In fact, not only did they oppose the laws which increased tax transparency in this country; Senator Dastyari put up billboards in Sydney saying that the Greens voted down tax transparency in the Australian parliament. Every chance we get we ask the ATO at estimates—

Senator Dastyari interjecting—

Are you doing a war dance, Senator Dastyari? I cannot hear exactly what you are saying.


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