Senate debates

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers


3:51 pm

Photo of Louise PrattLouise Pratt (WA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Those opposite broke the budget. What Minister Gallagher outlined to the Senate in question time today is a plan to fix the budget and deliver on our promises, the promises we made before the last election—not the election before that or the election before that. We've made it clear that we have an agenda on multinational tax reform. We've outlined a plan for a better budget, a plan to ensure that revenue will return to our national coffers so we can keep the country running and be clear about savings we need to make in order to fix the budget that those opposite broke. This is the plan that saw Labor get elected.

When those opposite were last in government, just recently, they were the highest taxing, highest spending government in history. It's all very well for those opposite to ask questions about ruling out tax increases or new taxes on Australians in the coming budget, but we take seriously the responsibility of balancing our budget. We take seriously the responsibility of balancing our nation's need for good-quality public services—not the waste and rorts those opposite put forward—with the need to make sure that multinationals pay their fair share of tax, that the big end of town that those opposite let off the hook so often is there. When Australians spend their good hard-earned dollars with big companies, we don't want to see jobs and profits all going offshore. We want to see companies that have derived great benefit here on our shores paying their fair share of tax.

Let's talk about lower taxes. Why won't those opposite come on and support lower taxes on electric vehicles? That would be a great idea. We have the opportunity as a Labor government to implement what we took to the election. How about those opposite critique the policies that we took to the election, not have the arguments that they would like to have because they suit them? The simple truth is that those opposite can't put a finger on it. They can't even get close, because they know what a bad job they did. They know the mess that they left this nation in. So what are we left with? Made-up catastrophising. They're not here to critique Labor's plan for this nation; they're here to run their own scare campaign.

Seriously, this October we will have a budget ready to implement our election commitments. It will also be a budget that has to deal with the waste and rip-offs that those opposite buried in the budget. That was highlighted, frankly, in other parts of answers to questions this afternoon, when those opposite tried to ask questions about Medicare and the need and how expensive Medicare is, only to learn from Senator Gallagher that in fact there's no sustainability in the health budget that those opposite left us when serious things like adult dental care—such fundamental pieces of health care—were just expiring pieces of expenditure.

So I take pride in what our Labor government is doing. There's no depth to the questions asked by those opposite today. We saw 22 failed energy policies, a 20 per cent increase in electricity prices, and policies that you buried before the election that saw absolutely no outcome for Australians on the energy price increases that Australians have suffered through because you were missing in action on policy.


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