WEDNESDAY, 10 MAY 2017
SUBJECT/S: Budget 2017
DAVID KOCH: Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten joins me now. The Medicare levy going from 2 to 2.5 per cent and everyone will have to pay. Will you agree to that?
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: We are going to weigh this up. We're not sure the case is made though to automatically just increase the taxes for everyday Australians. If the Government is looking for some extra money, they don't need to give a tax cut to millionaires on 1 July, and they don't need to go ahead with the corporate tax cuts which are going to cost the Budget over $50 billion in the next 10 years.
Effectively last night what happened is that Scott Morrison said that every Australian has to pay more tax and that millionaires and multinationals in the future will pay less tax.
KOCH: So the millionaire one you're talking about, is the Budget Repair Levy, that actually has been imposed on your so-called millionaires, which is about to come off.
SHORTEN: They are millionaires. The Liberals announced that they wanted to put a budget repair levy of 2 per cent, which would see a millionaire paying $16,000 more in tax than they used to, the Government has decided that on 1 July, this millionaire in Australia, of which there are some, is going to pay $16,000 less. People have heard that right. They want every Australian to pay more tax but they are going to give millionaires a $16,000 cut.
KOCH: It was due to come off anyhow wasn't it? So it's expired.
SHORTEN: But it was put on for budget repair. The deficit is bigger.
KOCH: I agree with you, actually. I was surprised that the Medicare levy increase was going to be applied to all. Because I thought they'd just keep it to the top end.
SHORTEN: Why is this that it is a Government who, in my experience, is hard on Medicare but soft on millionaires? It is the wrong priorities.
KOCH: Right. So anything you will oppose, going through?
SHORTEN: We're going to weigh it up. There are things which we have got severe doubt. We don't support the corporate tax cuts, we don't think this is the right time to give the big companies a tax reduction.
KOCH: That's small business.
SHORTEN: Well no, the big cost of this is in the big business isn't it?
SHORTEN: We think that they shouldn't give millionaires a tax cut when they are asking other Australians. On Medicare, the Government rubbished us after the election and said we're making it up, and now the Government is saying 'We actually need to put more money into Medicare'. But like a lot of things they do, they know what they ought to do, but they don't do it properly. On Medicare, they should just remove the freeze on the patient rebates - that's what the patient gets back when they see the doctor. We think that should increase now, it shouldn't wait, in some cases up to three years.
KOCH: Bill Shorten, thanks for joining us.
SHORTEN: Thanks very much.