It’s my great pleasure to rise and speak on this consideration in detail and ask the assistant treasurer some very important questions about the very positive way in which the Turnbull government is managing the economy. In reference to the member for Kingsford Smith’s contribution, let’s not forget that Labor has declared a war on business. Ninety per cent of all Australians are employed by businesses across this country—small, medium and large. Half of all Australians are employed by large companies. That’s why we are adamant that all Australian companies deserve a company tax cut down to 25 per cent. We are seeing from Labor the most reckless plan to destroy the Australian economy that we perhaps have ever seen in the country’s history. Perhaps the biggest and best example of that is Labor’s attack on retirees. The biggest single gouge is $57 billion—we now know they got their numbers wrong, out by $10 billion—$5 billion a year gouged from retirees and some pensioners, a grossly unfair tax on some of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens. 900,000 of the most vulnerable Australians are under attack by Labor, including many in my electorate of Corangamite. These people are not high-income earners. They are in many cases grandparents, self-funded retirees, simply wanting to have certainty and control over their savings. In contrast, we’re very proud of the way in which we have worked hard as a government to protect self-funded retirees and their life savings. This is an absolutely terrible policy. This is a shocking policy, which attacks the most vulnerable Australians.
We hear about the grand plan of Labor to run the economy. No-one in this country will ever forget the four surpluses which the member for Lilley announced which were never delivered. The Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years were the worst example of a Labor government managing the economy in recent history—four surpluses which were never delivered. How is Labor going to pay for this? It is more than $200 billion, not just attacking retirees—attacking small businesses, attacking homeowners. There is now concern and some very reliable reports which indicate that because of Labor’s plan to abolish negative gearing house prices in regional Australia, including in my electorate, will go down by nine per cent. We’re already seeing some adjustment in Melbourne and Sydney. They now have a plan to smash house prices. It’s house prices, it’s investment, it’s small business, medium businesses, it’s the war on business and of course it’s our retirees.
This Labor opposition is the most dangerous opposition we have ever seen. It is summed up well and truly by the Leader of the Opposition’s plan to declare a war on business. If we have a look at the implications of raising these taxes on hardworking Australians, if we have a look at the impact that this is going to have, we’ve already seen how retirees all across Australia are screaming out, saying, ‘This is our hard-earned savings, this is our plan for the future, this is how we have determined to make sure that we have a secure life for the rest of our retirement, and all of those plans have been utterly destroyed if Labor were ever to be elected.’ It is a horrendous attack on older Australians. So I propose the question to the assistant Treasurer: does the government have a different approach which supports retirees, and what are the risks of Labor’s policies?