TUESDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2017
SUBJECT/S: Turnbull scared of Parliament; Income tax hikes
DAVID KOCH, HOST: Bill Shorten joins us now. You have called this delay an assault on democracy. Are your threats to sit next week without the Coalition a bluff or are you going to do it?
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I think it is a joke that the Prime Minister, who is frightened of his own party room, he is frightened of the Parliament, he is frightened of the electorate, is just cancelling parliament for a week.
Marriage equality is very important and Labor's up for voting that in a speedy fashion, but there is plenty of other business which the Parliament needs to do. Turnbull's just cancelling parliament because he is having a hard day at the office. I mean tradies, teachers and nurses don't get to cancel their day and pull the doona over their head. It's crazy.
KOCH: Alright. The Prime Minister says the party needs more time with the same-sex marriage laws. You're saying there are other issues that need debating while that goes on. What are the issues? What is he trying to avoid?
SHORTEN: He’s trying to avoid a royal commission into the banking sector. Some of his own Coalition backbenchers have now given up trying to defend the indefensible and they want to vote for it. So Turnbull doesn't want to be seen to lose control of the floor of parliament. Because, if you can control the floor of parliament, you cannot control the country and Turnbull knows this.
But when you have a prime minister cancelling parliament because it is all too hard, I think that is outrageous. I think it is weak, and I think Australians could quite rightly say what sort of Prime Minister have we got that when it is all too hard, he just cancel work. No one else gets to do that.
KOCH: But he is promising tax cuts. That is good news for us all.
SHORTEN: It is like free beer tomorrow, isn't it? This bloke who just says whatever comes into his head to keep the wolves from the door.
If he really wanted to support the battlers, he wouldn't be cutting the taxes of millionaires and increasing the taxes of everyday Australians. I don't know if you're aware, Kochie, but he is proposing increasing the Medicare levy by 0.5 per cent - so 0.5 per cent through income tax on people who earn less than $87,000 a year.
Only Turnbull could be so out of touch to think that on one hand, increasing everyone's tax and then on the other hand, pretend he is just going to cut it -
KOCH: Not that is not certain at the moment. That is just conjunction on your part, isn't it though?
SHORTEN: Oh, no - the income tax increase, that's certain. That legislation is in the Parliament. The only thing which isn't certain is the income tax cuts. We all know there is a Newspoll this weekend - what Malcolm does is on the week before a Newspoll, he comes up with a thought bubble. He said income tax cuts, gee that's is a good idea but he has got no detail on it. I will believe it when I see it.
KOCH: Alright, Bill Shorten there on the campaign trail in Bennelong -
SHORTEN: At West Ryde with Kirstina.
KOCH: Alright, get the plug in there. Thanks for joining us.