MONDAY, 30 JULY 2018
SUBJECT/S: By-elections; Labor’s priorities; Malcolm Turnbull’s corporate tax giveaway
DAVID KOCH, HOST: Joining us now is Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Bill Shorten, good morning to you.
Hey, you must be pretty chuffed after the results on the weekend -
SHORTEN: Good morning Kochie -
KOCH: A lot of sections of the media writing you off.
SHORTEN: Well I am pleased that Labor did well but I'm most pleased for the endorsement it gives to Labor's approach of putting better hospitals before big banks, of standing up for the pensioners not tax cuts for multimillionaires. So I think we're on the right direction. The biggest comment I got traveling all around Australia in the last nine weeks - and I reckon you get it too Kochie as you travel around the place - is everyone's complaining that everything is going up except their wages, people don't feel that the economy is working for them.
KOCH: Yeah, we're sort of asset rich and cash poor at the moment aren't we? Hey, how do you explain though because -
SHORTEN: Some people are asset rich.
KOCH: The facts are with superannuation and your house Australians are pretty well off compared with the rest of the world but how do you explain the Newspoll figures out today? Labor still ahead two party preferred but as preferred Prime Minister you're still well behind, I can't quite figure that out.
SHORTEN: Well Kochie I'm about to preach some heresy on national TV. Maybe what the polls are measuring isn't what matters to ordinary Australians. See you can have a popular coach in a football club but it depends how the team performs on the day.
What matters is for political parties is can they get their message voted for. On Saturday Labor got four from four. People are voting for our message, they're voting for our ideas. They're sick of the idea that we're going to give big business tax cuts, that we're giving someone on $200,000 and $300,000 a $7000 a year tax cut but an aged care worker on $50,000 only gets $10 a week. It's about priorities and people like Labor priorities.
KOCH: So this sort of head-to-head polling between you and Turnbull the - what they call the presidential style polling, you're saying that that just misses the mark now? That the average Australian is smarter than that, they're not voting for either you or Malcolm they're actually voting for the parties, is that what you're trying to say?
SHORTEN: Well I'm saying is that you can have all the polls in the world, what matters is the actual election. We had head-to-head contests, Malcolm and I, and Labor won.
SHORTEN: That's it.
KOCH: Now, you are saying that the people voted against the tax cuts being proposed for big business. Look are you in the Derryn Hinch camp, that if they limited the tax cuts to more for the small end of town, cut the big banks out, would you agree with that?
SHORTEN: Well I think he is proposing tax cuts for companies of half a billion dollars turnover. That is not a mum and dad milk bar, that's not a small business. The real issue here is the Parliament needs to reflect the nation's priorities. What people want is better funded hospitals, better funded schools. The workers of Australia want a pay rise. They don't want to see a company on half a billion dollars or a billion dollars getting a tax cut, that's the wrong priority for the nation.
KOCH: But a tax cut might lead to wage rises, because it's been shown tax cuts are good for the economy?
SHORTEN: Well no I don't accept that in a beauty parade between making sure that you can reduce the waiting lists for elective surgery for arthroscopies, for hip replacements, that that is regarded as less important than a tax cut for a company on half a billion or $1 billion.
I mean the other thing is about these tax cuts at the top end, all that we see is CEO wages go up. Did you know that in the last 25 years Kochie, that the average wage of an ASX 200 company CEO used to be twenty times the average wage, now it's sixty times. The truth of the matter is that if you're very well off in Australia you're getting better off under Malcolm Turnbull, but if you're an everyday battler your waiting lists in Tasmania for example to get an operation are increasing. If you're a pensioner on Bribie Island and you rely on the $14 energy payment to top up your pension, well that's getting cut. This is a government who only governs for some people, Labor's message is we'll make sure your kids get a quality education, that you can afford to see the doctor and you can get timely medical care and that of course, we want to see wages go up, that's all, and we want childcare to be sorted out.
KOCH: OK, Bill Shorten. Thanks for your time appreciate it.