TUESDAY, 26 JUNE 2018
SUBJECT/s: Huawei; Turnbull’s $80 billion corporate tax giveaway; cost of living pressures; Labor’s plan for a better NBN; GST.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: We've obviously got to go to caucus but time for a couple of questions, thanks for coming to the speech.
JOURNALIST: A number of politicians have taken trips from Huawei what's your reaction to that?
SHORTEN: The trips were fully disclosed, I think the bigger issue is making sure that national security is the number one priority for people and that they're not influenced by these trips. Labor takes its national security advice from the national security agencies, not from Huawei and we will continue to do that, full stop.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, what business does deserve a tax cut? What size of business rather, deserves a tax cut?
SHORTEN: Well we've actually said that we will support any Australian business with an under $2 million turnover to get a tax reduction because we think small business could always do with all of the assistance it can get. Beyond that, we’re considering our position between $2 and $10 million turnovers but fundamentally you have got to look at priorities.
I just don't agree with Mr Turnbull that the four big banks deserve $17 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years. I would rather see $17 billion be put back into our schools. I don't agree with Mr Turnbull that multinationals should get a tax cut, yet he is carrying out cuts to our hospitals and health care system. It's all a matter of values. Now he's entitled to his opinion, he's made it very clear - he's for the top end of town, I'm for our hospitals and school funding.
JOURNALIST: So you will repeal the tax cut between $10 and $50 million as already legislated?
JOURNALIST: You're going after the Prime Minister for his personal wealth but as the front page of the Australian reports there are a number of people in your own frontbench who have personal wealth. How can you justify this attack campaign?
SHORTEN: Listen, let me state very clearly, good luck to Mr Turnbull for being a very, very wealthy man. It is not his wealth that worries me, it's when he says really stupid things. When he says to young couples trying to buy their first home, "just get rich parents." When he says to 60 year old age care workers in Burnie - why can't they get a better tax cut, he says, "just get a better job." I genuinely think that Mr Turnbull is so out of touch with how millions of Australians live their lives, that's the problem.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten there will be many businesses out there earning between $10 and $50 million who are now baking in tax cuts into their future revenue streams, what do you say to them now that a Labor government will repeal those cuts?
SHORTEN: I am saying to them that what will happen is we will make sure that you've got highly skilled apprentices, we'll make sure that when your workers are sick they can get to see the doctor quickly so they can return to work more effectively. I am saying to Australian businesses of any size, we will give you a better National Broadband Network.
Did you know that there are 80,000 missed appointments between July of last year and February this year for people waiting for their technicians to come on their NBNCo issues? Did you know that the New South Wales Chamber of Business has found that because of Malcolm Turnbull's muddle in the NBN and the inferior copper technology, businesses are reporting thousands of dollars of losses and waiting up for three weeks to get the system fixed?
What we offer Australian business is the following: we'll give you a trained workforce, we'll make sure that when you need to invest in productivity and new technology, we'll give you an extra 20 percent depreciation. If you're in the tourism industry we'll help build your infrastructure. If you're in the defence industry we'll make sure that they buy local. If you want to actually invest in renewable energy and get your power prices down, only Labor can be trusted to put downward pressure on power prices because we will create national policy which has certainty for the future.
Perhaps one last question?
JOURNALIST: Would Labor consider broadening the GST? You've already suggested that with natural therapies to pay for the tampon tax, what about other areas?
SHORTEN: No, only Mr Turnbull wants to increase the GST. What I say to Australians dealing with cost of living issues is Labor has got an approach of a living standards package. Because of our support for renewable energies being part of our energy mix going forward, we'll be able to put downward pressure on your household electricity bills and gas bills. Because we support people getting a proper wage rise and reforming our industrial relations system, workers who've received no wage rises over the last few years can see a better future.
What we also say to Australians is we'll make sure that your kids get a good quality education which doesn't depend on how rich your parents are. We say to young couples hoping to buy their first home, our reforms to negative gearing will give you a level playing field because we think you're more important than people buying their 10th house.
What we also say to people worried about their cost of living concerns in health care is Labor will start increasing the patient rebate again which has been so unfairly frozen over the last five years. We will make sure the dreadful hospital cuts which have happened under this Government get reversed. We will also say to Australians who are worried about the circumstances of their aging parents, perhaps they've been diagnosed with dementia, we'll put greater support into aged care.
Labor’s in touch with how real people organise their lives and we'll make sure that working people get a fair go in this country, something which is becoming increasingly difficult under the Turnbull Government.