Senate debates

Thursday, 8 February 2024


Prime Minister, Taxation

5:49 pm

Photo of Dean SmithDean Smith (WA, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury) Share this | Hansard source

I'm happy to withdraw. True reform is what the coalition had legislated—the plan Prime Minister Anthony Albanese promised to uphold on more than 100 occasions. It was to address bracket creep, the great thief in the night, which has never seen the government's receipts soar from tax increases Australians never voted for. Instead, we have what is akin to shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic. Having proven themselves incapable of managing the economy, with 12 interest rate rises, an increase to the public sector wage bill of more than $1 billion, record and unmodelled immigration and the biggest decline in inflation adjusted wages across the OECD, Labor has decided to bypass genuine reform and instead pinned its hopes on a short-term reward. Their target, of course, is Dunkley and saving the Prime Minister.

My advice to Prime Minister Albanese is to remember the promise made by one of his predecessors, Julia Gillard—namely that there would be no carbon tax under a government she led. She broke her word, and the fate of Labor was sealed for years to come. Once respect is lost, it's hard to regain. The same goes for trust. It's a lesson Labor is about to learn. In contrast, the coalition will go to the next election and to the voters of Dunkley advocating for the reforms of stage 3, the reforms that until two weeks ago were also Labor policy. We will roll back bracket creep for everyone because we know people rise through income levels as their careers progress and their expertise grows and because a mature government represents the entire country, not temporary income groups. We will have a lower, simpler and fairer tax system, one that reflects the striving and the aspirational as well as the generous and equitable spirit of this country, Australia.


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