Joint Media Release

Labor Abandons Australian Businesses and Workers

MC 55/18

Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia

The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP
Prime Minister
Federal Member for Wentworth

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Treasurer
Federal Member for Cook

22 August 2018

Today Labor, the Greens and One Nation Senators, voted for higher, less competitive business taxes that will damage our economy and cost Australian jobs.

Labor voted to keep company taxes stuck at internationally uncompetitive levels. Australia will be left with the second highest company tax rate in the developed world by 2020.

In the interests of compromise, the Government offered to exclude the major banks from the Enterprise Tax Plan No. 2 Bill. The Government then moved this amendment in the Senate.

However Labor, the Greens and other Senators voted down the Government’s amendment to carve out the big banks.

Labor’s claim the Government would deliver billions for the big banks has been exposed as yet another lie. They had the chance to support lower taxes across the Australian economy, with the big four banks specifically excluded. They refused.

The Government sought to implement our Enterprise Tax Plan, as taken to and endorsed at the 2016 election.

We secured passage of the first stage of company tax cuts in March 2017, securing lower tax rates for all small and medium businesses with turnovers of under $50 million.

We are disappointed the Senate did not agree to the Government’s legislation and our proposed compromises. But as a Government we will always continue to believe in internationally competitive business taxes.

But we also respect the will of the Parliament.

We will not take further tax cuts for larger companies to the election due in the first half of next year and as a consequence we will not be seeking to make any further cuts to the company tax rate for larger companies in the next term of Parliament.

Over coming weeks the Government will consider alternative options to support Australian business competitiveness and will have more to say in due course. This is too important to our economy, to Australians’ jobs and wages. We will do this deliberatively and carefully.

We must be competitive to protect our economy and jobs.

[ENDS]

Media Contact(s): 

For Minister Cormann: Karen Wu - 0428 350 139
For the Prime Minister: PMO Press Office: (02) 6277 7744
For the Treasurer: Andrew Carswell - 0428 350 139 | Kate Williams - 0429 584 675 | Keiran Byrne - 0466 922 604

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and the Public Service, Perth