Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2018


Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan No. 2) Bill 2017; In Committee

6:24 pm

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

nirvana. Thank you very much, Senator Smith. Do you know who the Prime Minister of Sweden is? The Prime Minister of Sweden is a former Swedish union leader. He's a former leader of the equivalent of the ACTU in Sweden. Supposedly Scandinavia has this high-taxing, high-spending, high-welfare type of approach. Do you know what its business tax rate is? Twenty-two per cent! So you've got the United Kingdom, which has been going from 30 per cent, now to 19 per cent, on track to go to 17 per cent. You've got the United States under President Trump going from 35 per cent to 21 per cent. You've got France going from 33 per cent to 25 per cent.

Now, in Australia, we're not proposing to chase things down to the bottom. We're proposing to ensure that we don't lose touch with the average. We don't want to be left behind. We don't want businesses in Australia to be forced to carry burdens that their competitors in other parts of the world don't have to carry, because we know that, if we force businesses in Australia to carry burdens that their competitors in other parts of the world don't have to carry, the ultimate victims of that will be workers across Australia—11 million workers working in private sector businesses across Australia.

Some people would say, 'Oh, it won't really matter to the person working in the coffee shop or in the shopping centre or in the local grocery stores.' Well, it does because, if the big businesses end up hiring fewer people because they lose business, investment and jobs overseas, fewer people will go to cafes, shopping centres and grocery stores, and not only that; they'll buy fewer products and fewer services from small and medium-sized businesses here in Australia. And they'll end up hiring fewer people, and there'll be even fewer people going into coffee shops, restaurants, shopping malls and grocery stores.

The whole point is: we are one economy. If you deliberately weaken our global champions that are engaged in global competition, if you force our global champions to carry rocks in their backpacks that their competition in other parts of the world doesn't have to carry, you will slow them down. If you slow them down, they'll hire fewer people. If you slow them down, you help businesses overseas sell more of their products and services at our expense. And where are the jobs going in that circumstance? The jobs will be going to those businesses overseas and to the small and medium-sized businesses overseas that will supply products and services to them.


No comments