01 March 2018

Question – Minister Kelly O’Dwyer – Taxation

My question is to the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services. Will the minister update the House on the importance of creating a tax setting which helps grow the economy and reduces the tax burden on hardworking Australians? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches which pose a threat to Australian small businesses and families alike, including in my electorate of Corangamite?

 Ms O’DWYER (HigginsMinister for Revenue and Financial Services, Minister for Women and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) (14:43): I thank the member for Corangamite for her question and I applaud her for her tireless advocacy on behalf of her constituents—in particular, the more than 17,000 small businesses that have benefited from our government’s small business and medium sized enterprise tax cuts. The government has in fact put in place, and worked very hard to put in place, the right settings to drive economic growth and boost jobs. We’ve cut taxes for small and medium sized enterprises, and we have seen the creation of 1,100 jobs every day to ensure that more and more Australians have the opportunity to work, to invest and to grow our economy. We know Australia does need to remain competitive. We have to do it with our tax system if we are to drive jobs and growth and remain competitive in a globalised marketplace. Our government will continue to fight for our enterprise tax plan that will deliver the jobs, the increased wages and the economic expansion that we require.

The Leader of the Opposition claims that he supports small business tax cuts, but he would, in fact, raise taxes for small businesses with a turnover of between $2 million and $50 million. The Leader of the Opposition has a problem with this thing called authenticity. He claims to be a big supporter of women, yet this morning we see reports that Jennie George, the first female president of the ACTU, has chastised him for being part of the boys club that is still, of course, his factional power base. In his interview with GQ,when he was asked about Julia Gillard, he said, ‘I’ve always been a supporter of hers.’ I wonder if he told her that before he stabbed her in the back.

We have seen revelations documented in The Australian this week that the Leader of the Opposition promised the millionaire Geoff Cousins at least half a dozen times that he’d kill off the Adani coalmine before he promptly suggested to the good people of Queensland last week that there is a role for mining in Australia and there is a role for coal in Australia. He is apparently an ecowarrior in inner-city Melbourne but the miners’ mate when he is in North Queensland. As a union leader he froze out women, but now he wants to play ‘Mr Feminist’ on the pages of GQ magazine.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my left!

 Ms O’DWYER: He is all for reducing company tax cuts when he is sitting in the boardrooms around the country, but he is against company tax cuts when he turns into a GetUp! groupie.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my left!

 Ms O’DWYER: This Leader of the Opposition is completely two-faced and can’t be trusted. (Time expired)