Matters of Public Importance - Income Tax

Well, where would the Labor Party be without the banks? Today I read in The Australian a full list of the many millions of dollars worth of property owned by the luminaries of the Labor Party—multiple properties for multiple MPs. But you know what? It's not a problem for me. In fact, I like to see that kind of aspiration, that kind of planning for one's financial future, that kind of effort to get one and one's family ahead. It's fascinating reading because of the sheer hypocrisy of the Labor Party coming in here and attempting to crush the personal aspirations of others, of fighting working Australians who demonstrate all of the traits that built this country and made it strong—a desire to get ahead, make sensible investment decisions, make sacrifices, save, prepare a nest egg for their retirement.

I could be describing the characteristics of Liberal and National Party voters, but these are members of the Labor Party. All, no doubt, are well leveraged with bank loans. But the very bank loans they depend on come from the people they come in here and rant and rave against day after day. They complain on a personal level, because of their competitive position, if there's an increase in fees or charges from banks, but they're happy to sabotage the needs and wants of Australians in their own interests to sandbag their personal political positions to try and get some advantage in here. They're quite happy to grandfather the proposed changes to negative gearing to suit their own personal interests but keep other Australians off that ladder of opportunity that once mattered to the Labor Party. They have now rebranded themselves as the party of envy, the killjoys of other people's aspirations.

I still believe Australia is an aspirational country. Both its history and its present ring with aspiration. But we've got, in the opposition, a bunch of knockers. They don't even represent their own tradition. The genesis of the Labor Party was in the improvement of the lives of hardworking shearers in the sheds, giving them a hand to become a greater contributor to Australian society. But now it's all just a big attempt to divide this nation with the politics of envy. But I'm an optimist. I believe that most of the Labor Party don't agree with this strategy of being relentlessly negative without considering the merits of each policy. So ruthless is their desire to win government that we've seen that Mr Shorten will take any position that he thinks will further that possibility. I've seen the flip-flops year after year, whether by Mr Bowen, Mr Shorten or Mr Leigh. All of them have said that cutting corporate tax is a policy that will bring great benefit to the Australian people. But, then again, if you only stand for your own political interests, really, you value nothing.

How about this? We'll focus on a few facts and figures that demonstrate that, in this matter of public interest, we have nothing more than an exercise in divisiveness. The truth is that the strong economy that tax cuts for individuals and for corporations delivers empowers this government to deliver essential services. That's the good news here. When we cut corporate taxes, we increase investment, we increase job creation, we tighten the labour market, we raise wages and we increase the welfare and the wealth of all Australians. In doing so, we have more Australians contributing to revenue.

This allows us to make great investments like spending 53 per cent more in Longman than was the case under the previous Labor government. Don't believe the Labor lies you'll see on the leaflets being peddled around Longman. Funding for Caboolture Hospital and the health district around there is up 53 per cent. Yet over and over we hear Labor lies about funding of hospitals in Longman. It's shameful. We heard more of this class-envy nonsense today from Mr Shorten. We heard that there will be a repeal of the tax cuts that were delivered to small and medium-size businesses with a turnover of between $10 million and $50 million. There's even going to be a reconsideration of the cutting of taxes to businesses with a turnover of just $2 million, without a shred of consultation with the party room. I know I'd be very frustrated if that was how my party was run.

Nothing is sacred in the effort to divide this nation—to try to make people turn against one another—based on some formulation of envy. The truth that cuts through all this class rhetoric is that, even with the benefit of the coalition's tax cuts delivered last week, the top four per cent of earners today pay 30 per cent of tax now, but under the coalition's plan, fully implemented, they will pay 36 per cent of tax revenue. In fact, the burden on those who earn more will only increase. That reflects the fact that we not only have to cut taxes for all across the board in order to unlock the economic potential of this country but are doing it in a way that recognises the fact that there are many people on small and medium-size incomes who are doing it tough. While a person who earns $30,000 will pay around $2,200 in tax, which is about seven per cent of their income, someone earning $200,000 will pay $67,000 in tax, or around 34 per cent of their income. Any way you dice that up, the person who's earning $200,000 is paying their share. They're paying about five times the amount of tax being paid by the person on $30,000.

It's all well and good for the opposition to come in here and talk about this magic number of $7,000. But the truth is that you need to be paying a certain amount of tax in order to even make a cut of that nature possible. We can't give a $7,000 tax cut to those earning $30,000, because they pay only $2,200. We have so equitably distributed the tax cuts in this measure that it can only be in the interests of all Australians and of the Australian economy as a whole that we continue to press on and deliver more for all Australians, including essential services.