Senate debates

Tuesday, 5 December 2017


Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No. 1) Bill 2017, First Home Super Saver Tax Bill 2017; In Committee

1:17 pm

Photo of David LeyonhjelmDavid Leyonhjelm (NSW, Liberal Democratic Party) Share this | | Hansard source

by leave—I move amendments (1) to (3) to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Reducing Pressure on Housing Affordability Measures No. 1) Bill 2017 on sheet 8317 revised together:

(1) Page 2 (after line 11), after clause 3, insert:

4 Review of operation of amendments

(1) The Minister must cause an independent review of the operation of the amendments made by this Act.

(2) The review must:

(a) start as soon as practicable after 18 months after Royal Assent; and

(b) be completed within 6 months.

(3) The Minister must cause a written report about the review to be prepared.

(4) The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the report is given to the Minister.

(5) The report is not a legislative instrument.

(2) Schedule 1, item 1, page 5 (after line 7), after subsection 138-10(2), insert:

(2A) If the Commissioner determines that you have suffered a financial hardship, you are taken to have satisfied paragraph (2) (a).

(2B) The regulations may specify the circumstances in which the Commissioner is to determine that a person has suffered a financial hardship for the purposes of subsection (2A).

(3) Schedule 1, item 1, page 5 (lines 16 to 19), omit section 138-15, substitute:

138-15 Review

If you are dissatisfied with:

(a) a *first home super saver determination in relation to you; or

(b) a decision the Commissioner makes not to make a determination under subsection 138-10(2A);

you may object against the determination, or the decision, as the case requires, in the manner set out in Part IVC.

The government's First Home Super Saver Scheme allows taxpayers to make one withdrawal in their lifetime from their voluntary superannuation contributions to purchase their first and only home. Item 2 of my amendments provides an exemption to the requirement it be a first home. The exemption will apply if the tax commissioner determines that the taxpayer has suffered financial hardship, the circumstances of which can be determined by regulation. I envisage that regulations would refer to circumstances where a taxpayer has limited savings, is currently renting and had an interest in a home many years ago in a cheaper real estate market or when a taxpayer was in a relationship that has since broken down. Taxpayers will still be limited to one withdrawal of their voluntary superannuation in their lifetime and it must be for their only home. This amendment will help people who are struggling to leave the rental market and buy their own home in the face of high property prices. The fact that they once owned their own home, possibly some decades ago, does not make their struggle any less stressful.

Item 3 of my amendments allows taxpayers to object if they are dissatisfied with a decision of the commissioner ruling that the taxpayer has not suffered financial hardship, and item 1 requires a review of this bill's First Home Super Saver Scheme and downsizer reform. My view is that taxpayers should be able to withdraw more of their voluntary superannuation contributions in more circumstances. I would also hope that it would recommend that more people can put more of the proceeds from the sale of a house into superannuation. I commend my amendments to the Senate.

1:19 pm

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

The government will support these amendments, firstly in relation to the statutory review of the scheme. Undertaking a review of the scheme is consistent with best-practice regulation. Independent review would provide the opportunity to determine whether the scheme is meeting the needs of first home savers and operating as intended. Further, in relation to access for people who have suffered severe financial hardship, allowing those who have suffered a serious financial setback to access the scheme gives them access to the same concessions as first home savers. As such, people are effectively starting over again. It is appropriate that they be treated as being in a similar position. Requiring the commissioner to have regard to any matters specified by regulation allows the government to set clear parameters around who is eligible to use the financial hardship rule. This will ensure that access to the rule can be appropriately targeted.

1:20 pm

Photo of Doug CameronDoug Cameron (NSW, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Human Services) Share this | | Hansard source

Labor will not be supporting these amendments. The amendments, while well-meaning, are an attempt to make the First Home Super Saver Scheme workable. Labor has a fundamental opposition to this legislation. This is, again, about this government seeking to undermine the superannuation system in this country. The government has legislation in the parliament that sets up an objective for superannuation that relates to retirement income. So, on one hand they're saying that superannuation is about retirement income, yet in this bill they want it to be for saving for a home.

This legislation contradicts the objective that this government is putting forward. No wonder we've heard nothing from the government recently on the objective of superannuation legislation. We will not support the First Home Super Saver Scheme legislation or attempts, however well-meaning, to improve this legislation. Unless this government deals with capital gains tax and negative gearing, young people who are trying to buy their first home will always be at a disadvantage against wealthy individuals who use capital gains tax and negative gearing to give themselves an advantage over young first home buyers. Young first home buyers are actually subsidising the investors who are going in there and using the tax loopholes to give themselves an advantage against first home buyers.

If this government were half serious about the issue affecting young people trying to buy their first home, if it were half serious about trying to deal with the ballooning prices in our major cities, then it would deal with capital gains tax and negative gearing. Billions of dollars of our money is going to investors to subsidise them, against young people trying to buy a home—over a 10-year period about $32 billion of taxpayer subsidy to rich investors, lining up weekend in weekend out against young home buyers who are trying to buy their first home. If the government were half serious about this it would deal with inclusionary zoning such that developers making billions of dollars out of developments would be required to provide a ratio of units or homes to people who need help for community housing. Do you ever hear them talk about that? No, you don't.

This is a government that doesn't have a clue about housing. This is a government that doesn't have a housing minister. This is a government that is so confused about how you deal with this issue that it just can't come up with any legitimate proposals to deal with it. This is a government that got rid of the National Rental Affordability Scheme that was on track to provide 50,000 affordable homes to Australians across the country. This is a government that says they'll introduce a bond aggregator. We agree about introducing a bond aggregator. But they are so dumb, they are so incompetent, that, although they say they will introduce a bond aggregator, they are doing nothing about the yield gap for low-income people—the yield gap that would need to be dealt with to allow the community housing industry to invest in housing for low-paid Australians.

Let's just deal with this issue of superannuation for a minute. We are talking about helping young people with their superannuation savings, but the average balance for a young person between the age of 18 and 24 is $6,789. That's what the ATO says the average balance is. So young people need to be putting money into superannuation for their future. That's the key issue in superannuation. If you are between 25 and 29, you've got a balance of $20,504. The reason these amounts are so low is that this mob across the chamber—this mob who are so concerned with their internal politics, are fighting each other, have a weak Prime Minister—are so consumed with their internal problems that they can't focus on the real issues for Australians: the cost of living, electricity prices, housing, education, homelessness, health. These are the issues that any government worth its salt would be dealing with. But this mob is totally incapable of dealing with those issues.

Those opposite are saying that if you put more money into your superannuation you'll get a tax advantage. When wages are stagnating, when workers can't get a pay rise and they are battling to put food on the table, how is this an answer to housing affordability? It is not. When you get Senator Cash on her feet—not so much lately, but she has been on a regular basis—attacking workers' rights to collectively bargain and increase their wages, attacking the trade union movement that helps drive wages up in this country, then no wonder we've got wage stagnation. These are big issues, and this government has got a very small view about the approach that should be taken, part of which is its attack on the superannuation system.

We've got something like 500,000 Australians in either mortgage stress or rental stress—in other words, over 30 per cent of their income is going to pay their rent or pay their mortgage. You don't hear this government talk about that. They come in with piddling little schemes like this that have got no credibility, no focus on dealing with the big issues of housing and homelessness, and it is just clearly a demonstration of how out of touch this government is—not only the government but the Prime Minister of this country. It's all right for the Prime Minister, living in absolute luxury on the shores of Sydney Harbour, to talk about how people are doing it tough. He has never known what it's like to do it tough. He has never known what it's like not to be able to pay your mortgage, not to be able to pay your rent. This bill will not deal with those issues.

For all of the good faith that Senator Leyonhjelm brings with his amendments to try and resolve the issue, the amendments are meaningless. The crossbench need to understand that this government is incapable of negotiating with the states and dealing with housing and homelessness in an effective way. The states are walking away from this government because they know that it hasn't got a clue; they know that it doesn't have the policies to deal with housing and homelessness in this country. They know that the government is leaderless. They know that the government doesn't have the policies that go to the key issues. They know this is a government that wants to give $65 billion to the big end of town—to big business—in tax cuts, while workers' wages are stagnating and when they want to put more tax on ordinary working people.

This government is an absolute rabble. It's an absolute disgrace. It's falling apart at the seams. It doesn't have the answers that ordinary Australians need from a government to deal with housing and homelessness. The state Liberal-National governments don't have confidence in this government, nor do the government's own members. The public doesn't have confidence in this government. To come here and argue that this is the way to deal with housing and homelessness and getting young people into their first home demonstrates how incompetent the government is on the economic issues that are affecting ordinary Australians in this country. The government needs to focus less on infighting and more on what is in the interests of Australians in this country so that ordinary Australians can look forward to pay increases and being able to pay their bills, put food on their table, send their kids to school and—maybe, once in a blue moon—have a holiday. But all this government wants to do is cut penalty rates, attack the trade union movement and come up with nonsensical positions like this to try and deal with housing and homelessness. It is an absolute disgrace.

No wonder the public is walking away from this government in droves. No wonder the public has no confidence in it—the government has no confidence in itself! The Liberals are fighting the Nationals, the Nationals are fighting the Liberals, and the Liberals are fighting each other. There is no continuity in this government. There are no broad policy parameters. They don't know what they stand for. They are an absolute disgrace as a government. If this is 'grown-up government', as they said when they came into power, they've failed to demonstrate it; they're still in kindergarten, this mob. In fact, kindergarten kids are better behaved. Kindergarten kids know they've got to get on with each other. This mob don't. This mob don't know how to run a government. They are totally incompetent and out of touch. To come here with nonsensical propositions like this and say, 'We are doing something about housing prices' demonstrates what a bunch of tricksters they are.

They try and trick the public day in, day out. All they're interested in is the big end of town that puts money into their election coffers. All they're interested in is making sure the banks get off without a royal commission for years, and, when the banks finally give them permission to run a royal commission, they have terms of reference that will make sure the banks are not put under any pressure. They have a time scale in the royal commission that ensures the banks will not be put under any pressure, because it's a deal between the government and the banks. The terms of reference were worked out between the banks and the government only 24 hours before they announced the royal commission that they were saying they wouldn't have.

How can you believe this government on anything? How can anyone have confidence that this government is acting in the best interests of first home buyers? How can anyone believe this government ever acts in the interests of the community? It simply wants to attack unions, workers and those who are falling through the cracks in society—the weak people who don't have an opportunity to get a job. The government's social security amendments are ridiculous; they're all about attacking the weakest and most vulnerable in our community. This mob does not have a clue. This amendment will not resolve the problems. But One Nation will cuddle up to them and vote for it. One Nation do nothing for those who are down and out in this country. One Nation attack the unions. They are their best mates in this place—One Nation and the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party have even sold out the National Party to cuddle up to One Nation. They are an absolute disgrace and don't deserve to be in power.

1:35 pm

Photo of Pauline HansonPauline Hanson (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I just want to put a few facts straight. It's quite interesting to listen to the comments of the Labor Party, as if they're all for the battlers. I don't take sides in this House, whether it's the government side or the opposition side. My job in this House is to bring accountability for the people of Australia. It's quite interesting to hear that Senator Cameron and the Labor Party are not backing this. It's basically a savings for first home buyers so that they can, as a tax deduction, as well, to them, put it into their savings account, into their superannuation, so that they can actually draw on that money to then buy a house, if they wish. I think it's a wonderful idea. It's going to encourage people to save for their first home. It will help them tax wise, as well.

This has nothing to do with any other superannuation program or any other issues that the government may want to put across with their superannuation. This is about helping people to be able to save to buy a home—their first home. As Senator Leyonhjelm's amendments address, if you've had a house previously you're not going to be stopped from buying a second one further down the track if you face financial difficulties, or if you've been through a divorce or for whatever reasons. I think that's commendable in the amendments Senator Leyonhjelm is putting forward, which we will be supporting.

When Senator Cameron says, 'They don't care about the housing market and big investors, and they're not looking after them,' let me draw him back to what Minister Chris Bowen and the Labor Party did. For any foreign developers in this country—and we have so many Chinese over here, plus other developers; but they are mainly Chinese, with all the high-rise buildings going up in Melbourne—they actually changed the laws to say that, instead of 50 per cent of the property having to be bought up by Australian homeowners, the whole lot can be sold to foreign investors.' Oh, they're worried about the battlers! They were worried about Australians owning their own homes! No, they didn't. On top of that, there was no stamp duty paid on those units. So this is Labor worrying about Australians owning their own homes. They changed the laws so that all of that development could be sold to foreign investors.

Since the government have been in here—and I supported them—that has been changed. Fifty per cent of those development sites must be sold to Australians. You also talk about how they're doing nothing for anyone else. With the foreign investment that's happened in this country, especially in buying up our prime agricultural land, it was okay under Labor. They could buy anything up to $240 million. So they allowed the foreign investors into the country. It was under the coalition—I think it was under Prime Minister Abbott—that it was reduced to $15 million. I think it's still over the top, but at least they reduced it. So where was Labor on supporting our prime agricultural land? Nowhere to be seen.

Another thing is they talk about looking after everyone. The reason for the high cost of living—for which I will have a go at both Labor and the government—is high immigration. Until you actually reduce the immigration numbers coming into this country, our housing will continue to go up and up. We cannot provide the amount of housing that we require for our own Australians and also allow for foreign investors, plus the immigration levels.

You talk about pay cuts to hard-earning workers. But it's alright for the union to take these hardworking Australians' union fees to pay people to work on polling booths for a day at $400 a day. Where are all those union fees going? What about the Craig Thomsons who use the moneys from workers' union fees to pay for prostitutes or whatever? So don't you talk about workers.

Senator Cameron interjecting

I remember a motion was put here in the parliament—moved by Senator Cory Bernardi and supported by One Nation and, I believe, Senator Jacqui Lambie—that there'd be not a cut but a freeze on politicians' wages until the budget was in surplus. There were six on this side agreeing to it. Where was Labor? Where was everyone else? On that side. So you weren't prepared to take a freeze on your wages.

Photo of Doug CameronDoug Cameron (NSW, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Human Services) Share this | | Hansard source

You've made your money with the Electoral Commission.

Photo of Pauline HansonPauline Hanson (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | | Hansard source

This is Labor, really worried about the battler out there.

Photo of Doug CameronDoug Cameron (NSW, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Human Services) Share this | | Hansard source

You've made your money.

Photo of Barry O'SullivanBarry O'Sullivan (Queensland, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Senator Hanson, resume your seat for a moment, please. Order on my left! Senators are entitled to be heard in silence. Senator Hanson.

Photo of Pauline HansonPauline Hanson (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you very much, Acting Deputy Chair. So it's all right for Labor to say they're out there for the battlers and everything else. No, they're not. You don't lead by example. You actually say a lot of things that aren't true. You talk about the rise and then don't address the electricity costs. Let me tell you that it's Labor in Queensland who have seen electricity prices rise by 200 per cent. It is because the powerlines and poles are owned by the state government—Labor. Forty-nine per cent of the power bill goes into the coffers of the Labor government. One Nation wanted to drop the price by 20 per cent. It could be dropped by 20 per cent, but, no, they're putting billions of dollars into the coffers. It's actually $1.5 billion a year out of the pockets of mums and dads and pensioners and businesses. You speak to your colleagues in Queensland, if they get back into government, and say that, unless they reduce the price of electricity, a number of businesses are going to go under: a fertiliser company; Boyne Smelters are going under; and there's another big business in Rockhampton that makes springs. They're actually struggling to pay their power bills.

You talk about jobs. What did you do to increase apprenticeship schemes when you were in government? Absolutely nothing. And it was under Labor that the 457 visa holder numbers increased in Australia. You brought people into the country who shouldn't have been here taking up jobs that should belong to Australian people. So don't you sit there and criticise. This superannuation bill is going to be very good for those people to be able to save their money—

Senator Cameron interjecting

and they can have the opportunity to buy their first home. Why don't you support that?

Photo of Doug CameronDoug Cameron (NSW, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Human Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm criticising you—your racism.

The TEMPORARY CHAIR: Order! Senator Hanson, please resume your seat. We need some silence on my left. The senator is entitled to be heard. Senator Hanson.

Photo of Pauline HansonPauline Hanson (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you very much. When you hit the bone, it really hurts, doesn't it? They can't cop it. They want to dish it out to One Nation all the time. One Nation are here and we will support good legislation. When the Labor Party decide to put up good legislation—well, they won't until they're on the other side of the benches; they've got to get from that side to the other side—I'll consider supporting their legislation. They don't even attempt to put up commonsense amendments to try to help the legislation; they just knock it on the head. So, everyone out there who wants to own their own home, forget about it because Labor is not supporting you. They're too busy looking after their union mates and the delegates who end up in this place and on the benches in here, and then they forget about the hard workers out there.

The whole thing is: this is a good proposition; it's a good bill to help people get into their own homes. But we've got to start looking at the immigration level coming into Australia. We've got foreign students. We've got about a million in the country who are buying their own housing. This is having an impact on affordable housing. You've got state taxes and stamp duty which are also having an impact on it. There are many reasons for this. This is a good bill for superannuation to help people get into their own home. I support Senator Leyonhjelm's amendments to this and I support the government on their bill.

1:44 pm

Photo of Doug CameronDoug Cameron (NSW, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Human Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm really not sure what Senator Hanson's contribution, especially towards the latter end, had to do with housing, homeless, trying to reduce the cost of housing or helping young people get into a house. It was typical of Senator Hanson. She just gets up and doesn't know what she is talking about. She hasn't got a clue. It is typical One Nation. They have to bring in racism and immigration into the argument, because they've got nothing else going for them. It is either climate change denial, racism or attack the unions. They cuddle up to the coalition. That's all One Nation does. They may as well be a branch of the Liberal Party. They vote with the Liberal Party at every opportunity they get. Look at the votes in this place. They vote with the Liberals on every issue. On any issue that harms working people and any issue that looks after the big end of town One Nation are in there.

The hypocrisy of Senator Hanson coming in here and talking about anyone taking money off the government. Have a look at how much money One Nation and Senator Hanson have milked out of the electoral process over the years. She has become a millionaire through that process. She doesn't know what a battler is. She doesn't care about battlers in this place. Senator Hanson only looks after Senator Hanson.

Senator Hanson would destroy the trade union movement and would destroy workers' capacity to bargain. What would that do to young people getting into their home? I can tell you that when I was on the tools, when I was a blue-collar fitter, my penalty rates and overtime gave me the opportunity to save for a home. Yet what have they done? They have voted against these issues. One Nation were so embarrassed they had to vote against the penalty rate cuts, but prior to that they had been supporting cuts to penalty rates constantly. They were constantly supporting cuts to penalty rates. It just makes my blood boil when I see someone who has milked the system—like Senator Hanson, for every cent she can get out of the system—have the gall to come in here and criticise anyone else. It is an absolute disgrace.

All she is doing is cuddling up to the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party cuddle up to her. They cannot get around there quick enough to throw their arm around her. They can't get around there quick enough to cuddle up to Senator Hanson and One Nation, even if that is at the expense of the National Party, your party, Mr Temporary Chairman O'Sullivan. We have seen them cuddling up to One Nation: 'Forget about the traditional coalition. Forget about the National Party. Let's cuddle up to One Nation.' That's what they do.

They haven't got a clue about how to deal with the key issue, which is how we deal with housing and homelessness in this country. When was the last time you heard a senior minister in this government talk about housing and homelessness? I'll tell you when. It was at the last budget when they put up a grab bag of policies that would not make one difference to housing affordability in this country. They put up a grab bag of policies and the experts who looked at it said that you would need an electron microscope to see what difference this would make to housing prices.

This mob care about only the banks. They care about only the big end of town. They care about only the people who are putting money into their pocket to run elections. That's all they do. If you want to see how they deal with housing and homelessness, look at New South Wales. In New South Wales developers were constantly feeding money into coalition election campaigns. When the law was changed to ban donations from developers, what did they do? They met the developers in Newcastle in the back seat of the developers' Bentley and got brown paper bags stuffed with $10,000 to push into their election coffers, breaching the law.

This mob don't care about getting young people into homes. This mob are more interested in getting money from developers and builders. If they actually cared about housing and homelessness, they would have done something over the last four-and-a-bit years. They're into their fifth year of government, and they've done nothing of any substance to help working-class people get into a home. All they've done is stand back and watch house prices going through the roof and young people being pushed out. What we are seeing now is young people having to take accommodation that they would never have been forced into years ago. They want to save on rent, so they go down the housing ladder and they push unemployed people and the working poor out onto the streets.

When we see the results of the census on housing and homelessness, I bet that housing and homelessness will have increased exponentially in this country. Yet we never hear the government talking about these issues. They come here with these nonsensical pieces of legislation that will not deliver on housing affordability and will not assist young people get into their homes.

They've come up with a bond aggregate. The Treasurer, Mr Morrison, during the last break, headed off to the UK, to London, supposedly to look at what a bond aggregator could deliver. It was a nice little trip over to London. He was probably having a look at where Senator Brandis would live when he goes off to London. Mr Morrison was over in London supposedly looking at what's going to happen in the context of a bond aggregator. Labor didn't need to go to London to find out how a bond aggregator worked, because experts have been out here telling us how a bond aggregator works in the UK. We've had housing forums here where expert after expert has taken us through how a bond aggregator works. But the Treasurer had to go off to London during the holidays to have a look at this. What a load of nonsense! He didn't have to go to London at all. The experts from overseas had been here—and we've got our own Australian experts in this area.

The bond aggregator, which might help reduce costs for the community housing industry to provide housing for low-income people, social security recipients and the working poor, is still not enough to fund homes for poor people in this country. You never hear this mob talk about that, because they're not interested. In their five years in government they have not brought one piece of substantive legislation on housing and homelessness to this parliament. All they've done is cuddle up to the developers and the builders to make sure that they get money from the developers and builders to fund their next election campaign. That's what this mob are about.

They don't care about working-class people who can't get a house. They don't care about older women who end up with no income and no substantial superannuation and end up on the streets. They don't care about that. I've never heard a speech from them on that in all the time I've been here. They don't care about young Australians who have been in out-of-home care, end up leaving out-of-home care at 18 and end up on the streets with no experience, no job and no security. As a number of the NGOs have said to me, they end up being groomed by some of the hard heads out on the streets—young women being groomed out on our streets. Do you ever hear a coalition politician talk about that? No, you don't. What do you hear them talking about? You hear them talking about destroying the trade union movement and attacking the capacity of workers to bargain and get a decent wage to save for a home. That's what you hear out of this mob.

Senator Cash is on her feet in this parliament, day in and day out, attacking the trade union movement, attacking the working-class and attacking workers' capacity to bargain. That's what we get from this rabble of a government—this government that hasn't got a clue; this government with a weak leader; this government with a leader who won't even stand up for his own principles, won't stand up for his own values, and capitulates to whoever stands him up. That's all we get from this government. We don't get any action on the interests of working people in this country. They're too busy wanting to hand over $65 billion to the big end of town in tax cuts and hope that the trickle-down effect will work.

The trickle-down effect didn't work in America under Ronald Reagan, and it certainly won't work here under Prime Minister Turnbull. He just capitulates to every right-wing piece of ideology that he can. And, on the way through, all he's doing is protecting his own backside to make sure that he stays in parliament as the Prime Minister as long as he possibly can, avoiding an election and avoiding any capacity to deal with the real issues for working people in this country. One Nation is taking over as the major influence on the Liberal Party, with the National Party capitulating to this. They are bystanders while Pauline Hanson's One Nation takes over as the coalition member determining what policies Prime Minister Turnbull will deal with.

This is an absolute disgrace of a government. They don't deal effectively with health issues, they don't deal effectively with education, they don't deal effectively with the infrastructure to get people from point A to point B and they don't deal effectively with the economy. They go from increasing the GST to handing over taxation to the states—that lasted for a couple of weeks. They don't have any competent, intellectually based, economic policy. All they do is come in here, attack the trade union movement and simply mislead, as Senator Cash has done on five occasions. All they do is set up these supposedly independent organisations—which are stacked with Liberal Party staff so that the Liberal Party's position is the position that is determined by these 'independent' bodies—to attack their political opponents, to attack ordinary working people in this country and to attack the trade union movement. They are an absolute rabble and an absolute disgrace, and the sooner they're kicked out the better. (Time expired)

Progress reported.