Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Melbourne




SUNDAY, 4 MAY 2014

SUBJECT/S: Budget; Tony Abbott’s new tax; Tony Abbott’s broken promise to pensioners; MP entitlements.



BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning everyone. As we head into the final week  before Tony Abbott’s first Budget, it has become clear to all Australians, and it should hopefully be becoming clear to Tony Abbott, that this Budget will be full of broken promises and twisted priorities. Australians do not want to see themselves paying more taxes, cuts to the pension, and more expensive healthcare. Mr Abbott, Australians don’t want to pay your taxes, Australians do not want to pay increased taxes for Tony Abbott.


This budget looks like to be a massive set of broken promises and it’s all the wrong priorities. Pensioners should not be worried about having their pensions affected. People going to the doctor should not be facing increased taxes to go to the doctor. And the millions of Australians who go to work every day should not face the prospect of paying for Mr Abbott’s broken promises, his twisted priorities, by paying more income tax. Australians work too hard to pay more taxes to Mr Abbott. Happy to take questions.


REPORTER: The poll today shows that a lot of people really do see the deficit levy as a broken promise. Will you commit to blocking it in the Senate?


SHORTEN: Tony Abbott’s deficit levy is a broken promise, it’s Tony Abbott’s tax. It’s an increase in tax which he promised before the last election he wouldn’t do. Labor will protect the pensioners, Labor will oppose increases to people paying more income tax. This is a bad idea. Mr Abbott has seven or eight days, he can just keep his promises, not break them, not increase taxes and look after ordinary Australians rather than increasing their taxes and increasing their healthcare costs.


REPORTER: So will Labor oppose the levy even if it’s attached to the Budget?


SHORTEN: Well I believe that Mr Abbott should keep his election promise. I believe that he should, by Budget night, drop any talk of new tax. Increasing taxes on working class and middle class Australians is a terrible mistake and people will not forgive Mr Abbott for breaking this very big promise, to increase taxes.


REPORTER: While Mr Abbott’s polling has gone down, Labor’s hasn’t moved since March. Why haven’t you been able to make ground with all this pre-Budget bad news?


SHORTEN: The numbers that I’m concerned about are whether or not pensioners will see their pension cut in real terms. The numbers that I’m concerned about is ordinary Australians, millions of them who go to work, paying more income tax to pay for a false budget emergency, broken promises and twisted priorities. The numbers I’m concerned about is that Mr Abbott is still stubbornly proposing to give $50,000 at least to multimillionaires for paid parental leave that they don’t need the extra taxpayer money for.


REPORTER: But the way the first term is tracking so far, shouldn’t Labor be making more headway?


SHORTEN: I think all Australians are shocked and disappointed that Mr Abbott is proposing to break his promises so quickly, and have a new income tax. I think that all Australians are shocked and very concerned that pensioners could be facing a cut in real terms. This Abbott Government has proposed a Budget which is more than just broken promises and twisted priorities, Mr Abbott promised he would be a government of no excuses and no surprises. This is not just a surprise, this is a shock to millions of pensioners and millions of Australians who go to work. Mr Abbott, do not increase people’s taxes, keep your hands off people’s pensions.


REPORTER: Do you think MPs’ gold card should be targeted for the Budget?


SHORTEN: This gold card, benefit, at the end, is a legitimate topic to be identified in the Budget, yes.


REPORTER: You think it should be changed retrospectively, for politicians who have already retired?


SHORTEN: In terms of how the changes would work, Labor is willing to work with the Government. It is appropriate that everyone shares the burden. This is why Labor is against pensioners being targeted by the Abbott Government. This is why Labor will protect the pensioners. This is why Labor will oppose this Government breaking its promises and introducing new taxes on millions of people who go to work.


Thanks everyone.