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Transcript 41623

Interview with Fifi, Fev & Byron, FOX FM

Photo of Turnbull, Malcolm

Turnbull, Malcolm

Period of Service: 15/09/2015 to 24/08/2018

More information about Turnbull, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 09/05/2018

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 41623

Subject(s): Federal Budget; tax cuts; Royal Wedding

FIFI BOX:

It was a big night in Parliament last night. Everyone had flown in from around the country. ScoMo – Scott Morrison – was laying down the Budget. I have to say, resounding success! I don’t think I’ve seen a Budget go down so well with Australia.

BYRON COOKE:

Me neither, pretty well received.

FIX BOX:

We have our Prime Minister on the line, Malcolm Turnbull welcome back to the show!

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah, great to be with you.

FIX BOX:

Malcolm, we’ve got to say that was a great result last night. It feels like everybody won. Low and middle income earners, the top end of town seem reasonably happy, you must be quite happy with the way that it was received yesterday?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, you know what? it is a Budget that delivers for all Australians. As you said, there are ten million Australians that are going to benefit from a tax refund in the first year.

We’ve focused the personal income tax reform so that the benefits flow to people on lower and middle incomes at the start. Then over time, of course, it’s a very big reform of the tax system.

At the same time, we’re turning the corner on debt. So net debt is peaking this year as a percentage of GDP and then coming down.

We’re also guaranteeing essential services. You know, older Australians are befitting from having more choice, more support and greater ability to, as they get older, to age at home rather than moving to aged care, if that is their choice. Also of course, to be able to work, to earn a bit more before their pension entitlement is affected.

So it’s a good Budget and it delivers as a result of stronger economic growth.

BYRON COOKE:

Yes.

PRIME MINISTER:

That is what enables all of it. That’s what’s enabling the record jobs growth we had last year and right now, the lowest percentage in 25 years of working age Australians on welfare.

So thank you, Fifi, I think it’s a good Budget.

BYRON COOKE:

To our economic reporter, Fev. Was it in line with your expectations?

BRENDAN FEVOLA:

Yes, Mr Turnbull I thought it was a delicious Budget.

[Laughter]

As our good friend the French President would say.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes well Lucy, she was the envy of all her girlfriends there.

FIX BOX:

She would have loved that.

BRENDAN FEVOLA:

She would have been up and about. Now mate, all I could read out of this – I’m not all over this because my wife looks after all the money, so I don’t have to worry too much about that, because I went down a bad path with money. But anyway, that’s a different story for a different day. I did see a “celebrity tax” that you have put into this Budget. It says no more cashies? What’s the go there?

[Laughter]

FIX BOX:

He’s a bit nervous Malcolm.

BRENDAN FEVOLA:

I’m a little bit nervous.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I think – I hope it doesn’t affect you too much – but basically, it’s just an integrity measure. So, what was happening was that some people – you know, celebrities, stars – were in effect selling, licensing the use of their name to a company and then essentially getting paid for that and paying a lower rate of tax.

BRENDAN FEVOLA:

Oh, that won’t affect me.

PRIME MINISTER:

All we’re doing, which is common sense, is saying that all of that is counted in your normal income, as it should be.

BRENDAN FEVOLA:

Yeah, yeah. Yep.

PRIME MINISTER:

So it’s just an integrity measure.

FIX BOX:

I like that, keep these celebrities honest.

[Laughter]

BYRON COOKE:

Keep em’ honest Malcolm, keep em’ honest, these bloody celebrities.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, you know what? We believe in lower tax, we do. But we do not believe in a self-help approach to tax reform.

BYRON COOKE:

Yes, I agree.

PRIME MINISTER:

Taxes should be lower and we are the party of lower tax. But we’re also the party of compulsory tax.

FIX BOX:

So hypothetically speaking, Malcom, if we - Byron, Fev and I - were sent a free pair of sneakers by Sketchers, would we have to acknowledge that somehow, or are we okay to keep the sneakers?

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I guess if it was received as part of your employment, then you’d have to disclose it as income, I guess…

BYRON COOKE:

Uh oh.

PRIME MINISTER:

But get the advice of your accountant.

BYRON COOKE:

That was hypothetical!

FIX BOX:

Hypothetically, I think it was a gift.

BYRON COOKE:

There was a lot of them, there was more than one pair. There was a whole box of them!

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I don’t provide tax advice, but I encourage everybody, everyone to pay their tax. You see, we’ve cracked down on multinational tax avoidance. We’re raising a lot more tax revenue from multinationals because they’re not able to have arrangements with their international subsidiaries and affiliates to avoid paying Australian tax. We cracked down on that. The Labor Party actually voted against those reforms, for reasons I could never understand. But anyway we’re doing that and also we’re cracking down on the cash economy too.

So, we are the committed to having lower tax, whether it’s for businesses or individuals. But everyone has to pay their fair share of tax.

FIX BOX:

Well it was a great success last night, Scott Morrison, it must have been a huge sigh of relief. Malcolm just quickly before we let you go, we are very excited – as is the rest of the Commonwealth – about the upcoming nuptials of Harry and Meghan. I’m guessing you and your delicious wife Lucy are going?

[Laughter]

BYRON COOKE:

Did you get an invite?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, we won’t be there but we’ll be sending them lots of love and we actually saw them in London. They’re a beautiful young couple and we wish them every happiness and every success.

BYRON COOKE:

Now, you’ve got a bit on your plate but we’re giving away three times a day, to go into the draw on Friday, if you hear the Royal jingle, you can ring up and go on a waiting list.

[Laughter]

FIX BOX:

We could send you and Lucy!

[Laughter]

BYRON COOKE:

Front row. It’s a great opportunity.

PRIME MINISTER:

I think I’ve done enough travelling for a while, it’s good to be back home and good to be focusing on ensuring that hard-working Australia families can keep more of the money they’ve earned and we can do all of the other good things that we’re doing in the Budget.

BYRON COOKE:

Yeah.

BRENDAN FEVOLA:

Right on, well done Mr Turnbull.

BYRON COOKE:

That is probably the better focus. That is the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a pretty well received Budget overall, we appreciate your time as always Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thank you.

Transcript 41623