WEDNESDAY, 4 MAY 2016
SUBJECT/S: Malcolm Turnbull’s Budget for big business over battlers; Election 2016.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Today Australians are waking up to realise that 75 per cent of all Australian workers, people who earn less than $80,000, haven't got a cent out of the Budget, and yet they're seeing their family payments undermined, they're seeing their funding for hospitals and schools cut. This is a great Budget for millionaires, it's just not so good for battlers. This is a Budget that puts high income earners as more important than families. Happy to take questions.
JOURNALIST: It's also a Budget where it seems that the Government's trying not to annoy anyone, if you like, and it looks quite political in that sense. We've got an election coming up, you know, do find it an incredibly political Budget?
SHORTEN: Everyone knows that the Turnbull Government stopped governing some months ago. All they have is a plan for their own jobs, they don't have a plan for anyone else's jobs. But when you look at the fine print of this Budget, there is much to annoy many people. If you earn a million dollars, if you are an income earner who earns a million dollars, you are going to get nearly $17,000 in tax cuts. But if you earn less than $80,000 you will not get a cent. What it means is that for the half a million people who earn between 80 and $87,000, they're getting the equivalent tax cut per week of a cup of coffee and a biscuit. Now Labor will support that, because they're the people we want to see do well and we'll take any progress for them. But Labor doesn't believe that the right priority for this Government is to give a cut to multinational corporations turning over hundreds of millions of dollars, but by the same time is taking money from our hospitals and schools, is taking money from our pensioners, is undermining kids dental services. Budgets are about choices and priorities. Labor's on the side of putting families first. Putting small businesses first. Not putting multi-millionaires and multinationals first.
JOURNALIST: Does this Budget boost your confidence that you can win the election?
SHORTEN: I believe that Labor can win this election, because we've got positive plans for the future. Mr Turnbull's got a plan to give tax cuts to a millionaire, or a large corporation. We've got a plan to properly fund every parents' school. We've got a plan to properly fund our hospital system. We are committed to defending bulk billing against the cuts against Medicare the Turnbull Government has in this Budget. We are committed to real action on climate change focussing on renewable energy, and we are committed to a fair taxation system where prospective first home buyers are able to compete on a level playing field with the property speculators. This election will be about who’s got the positive vision for Australia, and I'm really confident that Labor's plan to put people first is the key policy for this election.