SATURDAY, 13 MAY 2017
SUBJECT/S: Malcolm Turnbull's Budget for millionaires and multinationals: Medicare levy; cyber security
MARK DREYFUS, SHADOW ATTORNEY GENERAL: Excellent to be here in Frankston on a lovely sunny day to welcome Bill Shorten, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, for a town hall meeting which looks like it is very well attended and we're looking forward to hearing people's views and for Bill and possibly me, to be answering people's questions.
These are excellent events. They provide an opportunity for the Federal Opposition, for our leader, Bill Shorten to hear what the community is thinking. I am also with Peta Murphy who was our candidate for Dunkley at the last election - fought a very good campaign and I'll hand over to Bill.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks. I am here today talking about Labor's positive plans in light of the Budget this week and to listen to people. Too many politicians spend too much time talking and not enough of them spend time listening.
So, we've got the 'Bill Bus', just as it has been travelling throughout Australia because we want to take politics to the people. We think that Australian people are interested in what happens to their future.
And that's why I have to say about the Turnbull/Morrison Budget on Tuesday night, everything about that Budget needs to be seen through the prism of the Liberal's determination to give away $65 billion from the Budget to the big end of town.
If the Government wasn't proceeding with the $65 billion handout to corporate Australia, to big business, then there would be no need to increase the Medicare levy, the income tax on working class and middle class Australians.
The Government has got a very simple choice here; you can either let millionaires pay less or you can stand up for 10 million Australians and not make them pay more.
I will always choose middle and working class Australians over the top two per cent if I have to. Mr Turnbull should drop his $65 billion tax handout to big business, including the banks, including multinationals and he should get behind working class Australians.
JOURNALIST: Regarding the Budget, former PM Paul Keating has slammed your tax plan. What's your message to people on say around $180,000 who are going to pay about $90,000 in income tax?
SHORTEN: Well, those numbers aren't right at all. We have a mariginal rate of taxation system. In the world, there are the things that you'd like to do and there are things that you have got to do. Lowering the marginal rates of taxation is on the list of things I'd like to do eventually, but retaining the deficit levy is a thing which we need to do right now.
The deficit levy was created by the Liberals to help tackle the crisis of the debt and deficit, 'the Budget emergency'. Four years later, the deficit has got 10 times worse. As usual though, Malcolm Turnbull wants millionaires to pay less and he wants everybody to pay more. There is still a deficit, so the case for giving a millionaire a $16,500 tax cut has not been made when there is a deficit which is 10 times worse then when the Liberals got elected.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, in the wake of the cyber attack we've seen overseas, what more does Australia need to do to make sure our institutions don't fall victim?
SHORTEN: I think there is a lack of knowledge about the risks of cyber hacking and cyber crime in Australia. I think in particular, we need to encourage the soft targets against crime to take greater preparation. The reality is that there are criminals out there constantly testing and trying to using the cyber world to steal and rob and commit crime. We've been relatively good at protecting hard targets, perhaps the banks and the military. But there is a lot of soft targets out there and we need to do more to help them prepare. I am talking about small-to-medium business, I am talking about hospitals, I am talking about universities. We need to do a lot more to protect the soft targets against cyber crime. And that's something which all politicians should be working on because it is a real risk to business, to communities, to privacy.
JOURNALIST: The Government is saying that if they can't get their Medicare levy through in the way that they want at the moment, then they'll take it to the next election (inaudible). Would you welcome the chance to fight that at an election?
SHORTEN: If the Government wants to go to the next election promising to raise taxes on Australians, that's up to them. But I ask the Government, please stop doing what you normally do which is backing the top end of town.
If Malcolm Turnbull wants to make the next election a choice as to whether or not you give millionaires a tax cut, millionaires more money, or on the other hand, you stand up for 10 million Australians who go to work everyday - I don't know what planet Mr Turnbull lives on but there hasn't been wages growth in this country. A lot of families are doing it hard, people are approaching retirement, they don't have enough money saved. Mr Turnbull should stop giving $65 billion away to foreign companies and large companies, and instead use that money to help in the Budget and the other programs, rather than asking everyday Australians to pay more tax.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, Paul Keating's comments that the proposed top marginal tax rate at 49.5 per cent was too punitive. What's your response to that? What do you make of it?
SHORTEN: In this world, there are things that you'd like to do and there are things you have got to do. Lowering the marginal rates of taxation is on the list of things that I'd eventually like to tackle. But in the mean time, we need to tackle the deficit. The Government introduced a deficit levy. We need to keep the deficit levy because the deficit has increased 10 fold since the Liberals have got in. So there are things that you'd like to do, and the things you need to do. I'd like to eventually tackle the marginal rates of taxation but what I definitely need to do is tackle the deficit. And I'd rather millionaires pay a little more and every other Australian pay less, but under Mr Turnbull, the millionaires pay less and 10 million people get to pay more.