Bill's Speeches

MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE: COALITION’S UNFAIR TAX CUTS - CANBERRA - THURSDAY, 21 JUNE 2018

Thank you Mr Speaker,

Today the Coalition Government and their One Nation allies have just shafted 10 million working Australians. 

Today the Prime Minister and his government have demonstrated their complete contempt for working and middle class Australians and Senator Hanson and her One Nation party, such as it remains, have sold out 1.9 million working people in Queensland simply to do the bidding of the LNP.

And today the Government and their puppets have locked in tax rates costing over $140 billion dollars. 

This government are so proud of what they've done but they have not explained where the money is coming from. 

They have no idea in the next seven years if the nation can afford this, they have no way of predicting the global circumstances in the next seven years. 
 
They have no idea even if they will be here in seven years to pick up the pieces.

But what they have done today is put a $140 billion dollars on the nation's credit card with no plan to pay for it at all.

This has been a week when people have demonstrated their true colours.

The Labor Party has stood up for 10 million working Australians. 

We do support people getting the first round of these tax cuts and we support them getting bigger, better and fair tax cuts from the next year when Labor hopefully will form a government. 

But the Prime Minister and his allies have revealed their true colours too. 

They have yet again sold out working people and prioritised the needs of the most well-off over everyone else. 

Now I do recognize that at least the Prime Minister is consistent in his arrogance and his out of touch views of the world but One Nation pretend to be different. 

They cry crocodile tears to be on the side of the people who are doing it hard, but when it matters they line up with the LNP and they keep voting for the big end of town. 

One Nation has dudded 10 million ordinary Australians today -  they rob teachers and tradies of Labor's bigger, better, fairer tax cuts of about $1000 a year every year going forward, but they have given millionaires an extra $7000 dollars a year. They have voted for a plan, this One Nation gaggle and rabble, they have voted for a plan which gives 80 per cent of this $140 billion dollars to the top 20 per cent, and we will remind them of that mistake every day until the next election. 
 
Now to be fair the Prime Minister also showed his true colours this week and I thought there was almost a eureka moment on Tuesday when the Prime Minister used those famous words, 'I am a snob.'

And I did think there was a "hallelujah I've seen the light. At least I can say what I really think and the truth will set me free." 
 
I did wait for a string of frontbench confessions to follow; there is the lamentable Minister for Health, the Bruce Banner like character talking about his most recent transformation into the swearing Incredible Hulk, I wanted to hear the Minister for Communications just finally admit he wants his own show on the ABC, I thought perhaps the Minister for Home Affairs would declare his undiminished affection for The Guardian and I did wonder if the Leader of the House would finally concede his sneaking admiration of the very strong and tough CFMEU but unfortunately none of that happened it was a short outbreak of Liberal truth-telling.
 
But what this Prime Minister did do, is he did say when asked about the circumstances of a 60 year old aged care worker in Burnie, and why should she have to get the job of an investment banker to get the sort of tax cut that the Prime Minister is handing that person, she received the gratuitous advice to just get a better job, she aspires to a better job.
 
The Government expressed such surprise at the reaction which has followed. What the Prime Minister should have realised is that perhaps this aged care worker doesn't want to change industries and towns and professions, perhaps she just wants to get better pay as a carer.
 
Why should she stop caring for people and have to do a different job in order to get the sort of money that the Prime Minister thinks everyone aspires to?
 
Perhaps she aspires to better penalty rates.
 
Perhaps she aspires to better ratios of staff to patients in these facilities.
 
Perhaps she aspires to better funding for aged care. Perhaps she even aspires to a better Prime Minister.
 
The Government today has used this language of winners. They've said that the Australian people are winners but some people are bigger winners than others under this Government package.
 
For 10 million people, they're going to get $10 a week and the Prime Minister says where's my bouquet of flowers for looking after people with $10 a week.
 
But he's also happy to acknowledge other winners: the banks get $17 billion under this Government. We will not cover up a giveaway to the big banks or the top 20 per cent by simply fobbing people off with $10 a week. 
 
Instead, we aspire for a better deal for $10 million Australians. We aspire to the view that they should get better funded schools and not better tax concessions and negative gearing. 
 
We believe that people aspire to better funded hospitals, not better tax subsidies for the large multinationals and the big banks. 
 
We believe that people aspire to be able to be able to afford buy their first home rather than their tenth investment property.
 
The Liberal Party have talked about class war this week. I mean, they have form and history on talking about class war. Robert Menzies even spoke about class war during the real war, but we're happy to talk about this accusation from the Government.
 
I say to the Government, if you ask most Australians, it is not class war to demand a better tax cut for $10 million working Australians. 

It is not class war to demand better funded hospitals, better funded schools, better funded universities, better funded TAFE.

It is never class war to demand better wages and safer workplaces.

Instead, class war is when you cut $17 billion from hospitals and give it to the big four banks.

Class war is cutting money from Medicare and giving it to multinationals.

Class war is cutting penalty rates and boosting the salaries of CEOs.

Class war is cutting the pension energy supplement and increasing the working age to 70.

Class war is attacking the independent public broadcaster, the ABC, on behalf of vested media interests.

Class war is denying the doors of university to 200,000 extra students.

Class warfare is cutting 120,000 apprenticeships out of the system.

Class warfare is suppressing the wages of working Australians for the last five years.

This is the problem, though: the Prime Minister has always had these out of touch views.

And I was reminded of his remarkable words on 7 of November 2005.

He said:

"The simple economic truth is if you wish to promote economic activity, you've got to promote transactions. And in this case, employment transactions, you should reduce the cost of entry into those transactions."

Anyway, he clarified himself subsequently - he said:

"You have to free the market to do its work and let the cost of setting the clearing price, be it for labour, shares, home units or loaves of bread, be as low as possible."

Our Prime Minister doesn't understand how the real world constructs its finances.

Our Prime Minister is the only Prime Minister of this country who has ever compared the working wages of working people to the cost of loaves of bread - and he wants to pay less.

So make no mistake - we will not be lectured on this side of the House about aspiration because our definition of aspiration is not reserved to investment bankers and barristers and Cabinet ministers in this Government.

We do not think you need to be making $200,000 to be aspirational.

We believe in the aspiration of equal opportunity.

We believe in the aspiration to be able to buy your first home, to get a quality education for your kids, to be able to access quality health care.

We believe in the aspiration to see your kids get an apprenticeship or go to university.

We believe in the aspiration of leaving the next generation and future generations with a better environment than we inherited - and dignity in retirement.

We believe in the aspiration to a decent first class NBN.

We believe in the aspiration of job security and a good wage - and we don't regard the loss of 8000 Telstra jobs as just what happens time to time.

We believe in the aspiration to hand on a better deal to your kids than the one you inherited from your parents.

In fact, in Labor we believe in the oldest Australian aspiration of all: a fair go for all in this country.

And we say to the Prime Minister, if you really believe your latest talking points that you claim across the dispatch box in this Parliament…

If you really believe that Aussies want cuts to schools and hospitals...

Bring it on in the by-elections.


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