Senate debates

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Matters of Public Importance

4:48 pm

Photo of Zed SeseljaZed Seselja (ACT, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

It's great to be able to speak on this matter of public importance today. When we read the words of this MPI we see the sensitivity of the Labor Party revealed, for all to see, in relation to their policies being scrutinised, most recently by the very capable and very impressive finance minister, Mathias Cormann, who has called out the Labor Party's return to its socialist roots.

We've all been aware, and there's been debate in recent times, that the Labor Party's had the socialist objective in its platform since its foundation. There are debates, and we sometimes hear various state divisions saying, 'Do we get rid of the socialist objective or do we keep it?' But the interesting thing is that up until recently, if we look at, say, the Hawke and Keating governments, even though it was in there, we know that Labor governments tended to ignore a lot of it. That was the difference: it was in there but it wasn't an issue, because I don't think that anyone could say that Paul Keating was a socialist.

The problem for modern Labor, under Bill Shorten, is the way that they are embracing their socialist roots more and more, as reflected in their policies. The MPI says there's an obsession with the economic policies of eastern Europe. Well, I think the only reason that is being talked about is that some of the policies that are being put forward by the Labor Party today are looking pretty socialist. They are about dragging everyone down rather than enabling everyone to be lifted up, and that is what the coalition believes in. We believe in setting a framework for an economy where, if you work hard, you will have great opportunities to get ahead. If you can't look after yourself, we've got a safety net, but, for those who can, we want to give you opportunities to get ahead. If you work a bit harder than the person next to you, we think it's fair that you do a little bit better than the person next to you and that you take those opportunities. If you want to take risks, we want to support you. Sometimes that will lead to great success, as it does for many businesses. Of course, when you take risks sometimes it doesn't work out, but we encourage that risk-taking mentality and the idea that if you do invest your own money, your own time and your own effort and you do well, well, good luck to you. We want to see you succeed.

The contrast with today's Labor Party's list of proposed tax increases is extraordinary. We can go through some of the list of what the Labor Party wants to do if they get into office. They want to increase taxes on small and family businesses. They want your local small and family business to pay more tax, and then, of course, they'll employ fewer people. They won't have as much money for their family and there won't be as many jobs in their community under a Shorten Labor government, if they were to be elected.

On the housing and rental tax: they want to get rid of negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions. This is the modern Labor Party.


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