Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Date: Tuesday, 22 September 2020
DAVID KOCH: A new campaign is calling on the Government to scrap any plans for early tax cuts in the upcoming Federal Budget. The cuts were due in 2022, but it is likely they will be brought forward in October's pandemic Budget. Public policy think tank The Australian Institute says tax cuts won't help the economy and will result in inequality and fewer community services. For his take we are joined by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann in Perth. Minister, appreciate your time.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Good morning.
DAVID KOCH: What do you think about this view that cutting taxes doesn't benefit jobs or the economy, that it just benefits high income earners?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Well that is false. Our mission is to maximise the strength of the economic and jobs recovery. Leaving people with more of their own money means they will spend more, leaving business with more of the money they generate means they will invest more in their future success. We want to ensure that we have the strongest possible economic and jobs recovery and that is why lower taxes and leaving more money in the economy rather than taking it out of people's pockets is going to be an important part of the equation.
DAVID KOCH: So you will bring forward those tax cuts to October?
MATHIAS CORMANN: The specific measures will be announced in the Budget, but we have been indicating that that is certainly one of the things that we are looking at. The Budget will be very soon.
DAVID KOCH: What are the big drivers of jobs that you are focusing on? What are the areas that have the big multiple effect?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Nine out of ten jobs in the economy are generated by private sector businesses, so we need to ensure that businesses across Australia have the best possible opportunity to be viable, to be successful, to be profitable. That they have the confidence to invest in their future success, because a growing business will hire more Australians. That is why, right across the board, whether it is through lower taxes and appropriate tax incentives, whether it is facilitating better access to key export markets for our exporting businesses, whether it is through our initiatives to improve skills and training, lowering the cost of electricity. Anything that we can do to help businesses be more successful, sell more Australian products and services around the world and into the Australian community, the better for jobs. Lower income earners proportionately benefit the most when there is a strong economic and jobs recovery.
DAVID KOCH: A new blueprint for the energy sector is being released today. Frankly, your Government has not had a great record in this policy area, the National Energy Guarantee was the last attempt. What will be different this time?
MATHIAS CORMANN: I actually disagree with you. We have made significant progress in bringing down electricity prices, providing more reliable, more affordable energy supplies at the same time as we are reducing emissions by more than many other countries around the world. We have not only met, we have exceeded our emissions reductions target agreed to in Kyoto by 430 million tonnes. We are on track to meet and exceed our emissions reduction target agreed to in Paris. Our emissions reduction ambition is higher than the European Union or many other countries around the world.
DAVID KOCH: It is all in the statistics, I suppose. Minister, appreciate you joining us, thank you.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Always good to talk to you.