Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Special Minister of State
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019
QUESTION: What do you make of Anne Aly’s comments that the economy is in recession?
MATHIAS CORMANN: These comments are reckless, irresponsible and wrong. What they show is that Labor has learned absolutely nothing from the election result. Higher taxes and the politics of envy would make our economy weaker, not stronger. It is our plan for lower taxes, which will make the economy stronger, create more jobs and that is what the Australian people have voted for.
QUESTION: Are you calling for Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers to state their position as to whether they agree with her comments?
MATHIAS CORMANN: These comments are incredibly reckless, irresponsible and wrong. Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers must clarify whether that is the official position of the Labor Party. Is the Labor Party opposing our plan for income tax relief for all working Australians for those reasons? Our plan is designed to put more money into workers pockets, immediately targeting low and middle-income earners. It is also a plan to address bracket creep, which holds the economy back. It is a plan which was endorsed by the Australian people. It is a plan which will help build a stronger economy into the future.
QUESTION: Is she right by saying that we are heading into a recession?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Those comments are incredibly reckless, irresponsible and wrong. We have a plan to build a stronger economy into the future, to create more jobs, to ensure Australians have the best possible opportunity to get ahead. Labor clearly has not learned anything from the recent election result. Nothing. Higher taxes and the politics of envy would make our economy weaker, not stronger. Clearly, Anne Aly continues to argue for higher taxes and the politics of envy, which is what the Australian people rejected, because the Australian people understand it would make our economy weaker.
QUESTION: What are the chances of Australia falling into a recession?
MATHIAS CORMANN: We have a plan to build a stronger economy. The fundamentals in the Australian economy are strong. We have a plan to make our economy stronger. We are facing global economic headwinds, we are facing downside risks in the economy. This is not the time for reckless and irresponsible comments like those from Dr Aly and this is not the time for higher taxes and the continuation of the politics of envy. I cannot understand why Anthony Albanese would want to hold on to this losing pre-election argument based on the politics of envy when the Australian people have so overwhelmingly rejected. It.
QUESTION: And just finally, will the Prime Minister bring the Parliament back early, before July 1 to pass the tax cuts?
MATHIAS CORMANN: No, the Parliament will come back on the 2nd of July. That is ample time to give effect to our promise to deliver income tax relief for low-income earners from this financial year onwards. There is no practical difference. People can only lodge their tax returns from 1 July. If the Parliament deals with our plan for lower taxes swiftly, as Anthony Albanese has previously indicated the Parliament could, then the Tax Office will be in a position to process those tax cuts to low and middle income earners very, very swiftly indeed.