THE TODAY SHOW
WEDNESDAY, 10 MAY 2017
SUBJECT/S: Malcolm Turnbull’s unfair Budget for millionaires and multinationals.
LISA WILKINSON, HOST: Right now joining me for his reaction to the Budget is Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Good morning Mr Shorten.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning.
WILKINSON: It must be frustrating when the Government steals all your policies, is it?
SHORTEN: Oh, even a crocodile wouldn't swallow that. This is not a Labor budget. Last night Malcolm Turnbull increased the taxes of every working Australian and gave a tax cut to millionaires and multinationals. That's not a Labor budget.
WILKINSON: There are a whole lot of policies that he has taken a hold of. Surely you can recognise that?
SHORTEN: Well, I'm not going to say there is nothing good about the budget. Labor has been campaigning to make sure that women who are victims of domestic violence can't be cross-examined by the perpetrator in a court. So that's good they put some money back in that they cut. But let's go to some of the other issues. On Medicare, people are going have to wait up to three years to see some of the freezes, some of the rebates that go to patients being restored. On schools there's $22 billion cut out and university fees go up and universities get cut. We're still going to have the world's oldest retirement age and right in the middle of all of this, is what the Treasurer neglected to tell people but it's in the fine print of the Budget, he is clearing way in his Budget by increasing the taxes of every Australian to give a $50 billion plus tax cut to large banks and to multinationals. So this is a budget where the real winners are if you earn a quarter of a million dollars or a million dollars, your taxes go down. And every other working Australian, well their taxes are going to go up.
WILKINSON: Let's have look at some of the things you will or won't support. This half a per cent increase in Medicare levy to properly fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme will affect almost every Australian. Will Labor support it?
SHORTEN: Well, first of all we don't accept that the National Disability Insurance Scheme is unfunded.
WILKINSON: Well at the moment it's got a $3.8 billion hole in it, Mr Shorten and that is expected to continue to grow. Labor was the architect of the NDIS -
SHORTEN: Well no - sorry, that's what the Government - we like the NDIS but when the Government says there's a big funding hole in it, they could fix any funding issue for schools, for universities, for TAFE, apprenticeships or the Disability Insurance Scheme by not giving a massive corporate tax cut to large corporations. This is a government who says that the only way they can do anything is by increasing people's taxes. That's not true. It's about priorities. Why doesn't Mr Morrison and Mr Turnbull just drop the tax cuts for large companies. That will cost $50 billion out of nation's ATM over next 10 years.
WILKINSON: They're looking at penalising the banks. They've once again been posting multi-billion dollar profits. Everyone feels offended when they hear just how much the banks are making off taxpayers own backs and the Government is planning on taxing them much more than Labor ever promised, in fact 10 times. Surely it's hard to argue with that one?
SHORTEN: Oh, you know, you're a seasoned political observer. You know that when Labor proposed putting a tax on the banks the Liberals screamed like cut cats. Now, what they've done -
WILKINSON: Well they're doing the opposite now.
SHORTEN: Well, that's true. That is why we've already said - because we're constructive people in the Opposition, we've said on that measure, we just don't look at the Liberals doing things and say because their Liberal, no. People are sick of that sort of politics. So yes, we will not oppose the increase in the bank levy but my concern is two-fold. One, they increase the levy on one hand but they'll give the banks a tax cut on the other. It's the sort of tax increase on big banks you have when you're not having a tax increase. The other thing is the Government is saying oh, we'll protect, stop the banks from passing this new levy on to the punters, on to the consumers and account holders. They'll have the ACCC run the ruler over it. Well, that's not the strongest safeguard I've ever seen. And I'd like to see Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison actually belt and brace the bank levy to make sure that ordinary punters don't get stung and the banks have already said they're going to pass it on. The real answer to banks and getting better accountability and making sure they respond is a banking royal commission. Why does the former investment banker running Australia, Mr Turnbull collude so much with the banks to stop a banking royal commission. That's the missing link if you want to bring the banks too heel.
WILKINSON: What about this proposal of no dole for four weeks for anyone who consistently doesn't turn up for job interviews. Do you support that?
SHORTEN: Well, we are going to have a look at that measure but I'm a little concerned. This is the ninth time that the Government says that we're going to have welfare compliance. It's the magic pudding which helps fill their missing numbers in the budget. Now, we expect and support the concept of mutual obligation but we're not into just putting the boot into people down on their luck just for the sake of it to pretty up their budget numbers.
WILKINSON: If they're not turning up to job interviews, Mr Shorten, surely there's a line that has to be drawn in the sand.
SHORTEN: That's why I said in my last sentence, we do support mutual obligation. We want to make sure that it's being done in a fair manner and I think that's reasonable, isn't it? They announced it last night. We want to make sure it's fair. We do support mutual obligation. But one of the ways that we can help the unemployed is have proper policies for jobs. That's why Labor is supporting reinvesting in TAFE. Did you know last night whilst the Government referred to training in passing, there is no mention of TAFE. I'm sick and tired of the privatisation of our training. We want to back TAFE. This is the real challenge of the Budget. If you are a millionaire or a multinational, last night was good news. If you are an ordinary person your taxes go up and your school funding goes down, the cost of going to uni goes up. And we've seen that unemployment is still going up in this country and wages growth flat lining. This budget is about protecting one man's job.
WILKINSON: Bill Shorten we are going to have to leave it there. You have got your Budget Reply speech tomorrow night. We look forward to it. Thanks for your time this morning.
SHORTEN: Thanks very much.