Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
MATHIAS CORMANN: Bill Shorten showed tonight that Labor has no long term plan for stronger economy. There was no detail, no costings, no plan. Bill Shorten’s numbers just don’t add up. He is spending the same money, several times over.
The Australian people should remember that in the lead up to the last election he took forward bigger deficits of $16.5 billion even though he went with higher taxes to the last election.
Bill Shorten tonight reconfirmed that he would impose more than $200 billion in higher taxes, on electricity, on small and family business, on investment, on income, on housing, on retirees.
Those $200 billion in higher Bill Shorten Labor taxes would hurt the economy, would hurt families and would cost jobs.
Bill Shorten did not mention tonight that Labor has not delivered a surplus since 1989. 1989 is when the Berlin Wall came down.
Bill Shorten did not mention national security or border security tonight.
This was not an alternative plan for Australia.
What Bill Shorten showed tonight is that Labor has no plan, no long term plan for a stronger economy. His numbers don’t add up.
He should be backing in our plan to provide income tax relief to hard working families around Australia to encourage and reward hard working families around Australia wanting to get ahead. Our plan is the only plan that will deliver stronger economic growth, more jobs and in a way that is fiscally sustainable and responsible.
Happy to take questions.
QUESTION: Are you at all worried that Bill Shorten’s income tax cut plan effectively dwarfs yours?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Bill Shorten provided no detail tonight. He did not show who would be the beneficiaries. He did not provide any costings. He did not provide any details on how what he put forward would be paid for. In fact, he is spending the same money several times over. He is spending money again that he has already spent in the lead up to the last election on things that he committed to again today. Bill Shorten’s numbers do not add up. People around Australia know that they can’t trust anything that Bill Shorten has to say. He has given rolled gold guarantee after rolled gold guarantee to a whole lot of people. People have always found Bill Shorten wanting. The Australian people should be very careful about Bill Shorten in terms of what he said tonight.
QUESTION: You’ve said that Bill Shorten has on one hand hasn’t given you the numbers and the costings for his policies, but on the other hand you say he has used the same provisions several times over. So how do you reconcile those two different statements?
MATHIAS CORMANN: It is very simple. He keeps pointing to the money from the business tax cuts as how he is going to fund a whole series of things. He spent all of that money in the lead up to the last election, including on some of things that he pointed to today. Bill Shorten has not provided any detail on his supposed income tax cuts today. He provided no detail other than just some assertions. There is no long term plan. There is no long term plan for a stronger economy. People cannot trust what Bill Shorten has to say. His numbers just do not add up.
QUESTION: He did kindly provide to the media a bit more detail that was in the speech. And they said that they would accept your low and middle income tax offset in the first year and then in the second year they would double it and that is how they get that $5.8 billion figure. What I am interested in, is if they are only agreeing to stage one, which is what they have said, so they are only agreeing to the lift, I think from the $87,000 to $90,000. No $87,000 to $90,000 is in stage two. How does that then affect the ongoing issue if they are not locking it in via a change, if they are just sticking to low and middle income tax offset.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Bill Shorten’s numbers do not add up. Bill Shorten tonight reconfirmed more than $200 billion in higher taxes on electricity, on investment, on small and family business, on retirees, on housing. These are $200 billion in higher taxes which will hurt the economy, which will hurt families and which will cost jobs. People cannot trust what Bill Shorten has to say. You have to remember, when Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen were last in government, when they lost government, they left behind a weakening economy, rising unemployment and a Budget position that was rapidly deteriorating. That is because the numbers under Labor, under Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen just do not add up.
QUESTION: I suppose what I am asking though, is if the stage two changes were meant to lock in the original tax offset, if they do not follow through with stage two, is there a point at which, that you can explain who is going to be worse off, presumably at some point it will be anyone earning over $90,000 a year would it?
MATHIAS CORMANN: It is very simple. To provide encouragement and reward for hard working Australians by giving income tax relief to hard working Australians, the best way to achieve that is by backing in, in full our long term plan. Bill Shorten can very simply support our income tax plan, providing income tax relief to encourage and reward hard working Australians wanting to get ahead. That would be the best way for him to go forward.
QUESTION: Senator, isn’t his plan fairer because it gives $920 to all those workers on the lower incomes up to $90,000, much more than your $530? So by definition, isn’t that fairer?
MATHIAS CORMANN: His numbers do not add up. You cannot trust a single word that Bill Shorten says. Bill Shorten puts things out there without any detail, without any proper costings. If he was serious, he should release the Parliamentary Budget Office costings. We have released our Budget. All of our costings went through Treasury and Finance. If Bill Shorten wants anyone to take anything he says seriously, he should put everything that he has announced today to the Parliamentary Budget Office. He should release it before we go to by-elections in a few months’ time.
QUESTION: In your glossy, explaining the impact of the tax cuts over ten years, you say that someone earning $200,000 a year over the full ten years would get an $11,000 tax cut. Do you know how much the tax cut would be for say a Minister in the Turnbull Government, that was earning $400,000 a year, would they get more than $11,000?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Let me make it very plain for you. Somebody who earns $200,000 a year under our plan gets a 0.2 per cent tax cut. Somebody who earns $30,000 a year, under our plan gets an 8.3 per cent tax cut. Somebody who earns $200,000 a year pays well over $60,000 in income tax a year. Somebody who earns $30,000 a year pays just over $2,000 in tax …interrupted
QUESTION: Sure, but I am talking about, this is your own glossy document… interrupted
MATHIAS CORMANN: Tonight is about Bill Shorten’s Budget reply. What is very clear tonight is as a result of Bill Shorten’s speech, what is very clear tonight is that Labor does not have a long term plan for the economy, they only have a plan for higher taxes, which would hurt the economy, hurt families and cost jobs.