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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 22820

Interview with Neil Mitchel, 3AW

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 30/06/2000

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 22820

Subjects: Tax reform

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………

MITCHELL:

Mr Howard good morning.

PRIME MINISTER:

Good morning Neil.

MITCHELL:

Mr Howard - broken promises, confusion, businesses closing, contradictions, errors. Do you accept that this whole GST exercise has undermined your credibility with the Australian people?

PRIME MINISTER:

No I don’t. I don’t believe that the final judgement on this has even been begun to be made. I think in the months ahead, people once they experience the new system will make their own judgement. And when it’s experienced and people have had an opportunity to see what’s gone up in price, what’s stayed the same, what’s gone down, know what their tax cuts are – then they will make a judgement, and if the judgement then is as negative as what you put to me, and it’s a fair point to put to me, I accept that, I always knew this was going to be hard, and I always accepted there were going to be some glitches, and I always knew there’d be charge and counter-charge of the Labor Party, and others would run an absolutely unrelenting fear campaign. I always knew that would happen, but I think you’ve got to give it a few months.

MITCHELL:

You said if it is as negative. . .

PRIME MINISTER:

At the end of that period, if people make that judgement then I will have to accept that judgement.

MITCHELL:

Because it could be the end of John Howard….

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh come on I didn’t come on the programme to write an obituary column.

MITCHELL:

Specifics though. We were told bank fees wouldn’t go up. They’re going up.

PRIME MINISTER:

You were told bank fees wouldn’t go up in 1998 because at that time the States were going to have enough revenue, now let me finish, to abolish the Financial Institution’s Duty and the Bank Account Debits tax earlier than turned out to be the case because the Senate and the Labor Party and Brian Harradine wouldn’t accept what the Australian people accepted. And as a result of the changes made in the negotiations with the Democrats, the phasing out of those fees, the abolition of those fees was delayed by several years in relation to the bank account debits tax and by a longer period in relation to the financial institution's duty – that’s the reason.

MITCHELL:

There are reasons, I’m not doubting that [inaudible] nothing more than 10%.

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t control, I mean if the parliament says no.

MITCHELL:

But you assured us Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER:

I assured you under the plan I took to the Australian people, and if that plan is changed not by the Government, but by the negative obstruction of the Australian Labor Party, and by the refusal of the Democrats and Senator Harradine to accept the decision of the Australian people, it is not fair to then turn around and say – you John Howard have broken a promise.

MITCHELL:

Well you said nothing would go up more than 10%, that’s wrong.

PRIME MINISTER:

What things are you talking about?

MITCHELL:

Work cover premiums for a start – 12% in Victoria.

PRIME MINISTER:

That can’t be justified by the GST. It can’t be.

MITCHELL:

They’re doing it and. . .

PRIME MINISTER:

Mr Bracks has to account to the Victorian public.

MITCHELL:

It’s not just Mr Bracks, it’s all around the country. There’s probably $200 million there that small business can’t get back because of an increase above the 10%, they blame on GST.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well people blame, … I’m quite sure that things will be adjusted today and tomorrow and in the days ahead by some people under the cover of the GST.

MITCHELL:

These increases above 10% blamed on the GST for work cover are not justified?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t believe that an increase of 12% in work cover can possibly be justified on the basis of the GST.

MITCHELL:

Well that’s what they say. GST will adversely affect work cover premiums by 12%.

PRIME MINISTER:

You’ve got a Labor Government in Victoria which is running the Federal Labor lines.

MITCHELL:

It’s happening in every State – work cover.

PRIME MINISTER:

Neil, what I can say to you is that you can’t, if you’ve got a 10% GST and you’ve got embedded cost savings, you can’t justify an increase of 12%. You might be able to justify an increase of just under 10 in relation to the GST, but people are obviously going to piggyback off the GST, and say it’s all the fault of the GST because they don’t want to look their consumers in the face and say – well some of it’s our decision to take advantage of the GST.

MITCHELL:

There’s two areas, [inaudible] petrol’s not going to go up, we were told.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well we’ll wait and see.

MITCHELL:

You still think it won’t?

PRIME MINISTER:

They should pass on those cost savings, we’ll wait and see.

MITCHELL:

They all insist they won’t.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well that’s not right in relation to Woolworths – they’re going to freeze their prices.

MITCHELL:

Is it a reality, is it right that tomorrow the Government will be taking more tax out of petrol than it takes today?

PRIME MINISTER:

No it’s not, this is all about whether you look at the total Commonwealth excise collection.

MITCHELL:

You won’t be taking more tax per litre of petrol tomorrow because of the GST?

PRIME MINISTER:

The total Commonwealth collections, which presently are composed of a Federal component of 35 cents a litre and a State component of about 8 cents a litre plus. That total collection per litre will fall to 37, but that 44 is based on a set of Commonwealth/State financial relations which are changing fundamentally tomorrow. So the only true comparison you can make is between the total Federal excise collection now which is 44 plus, and the total Federal excise collection after tomorrow which is 37 plus. The whole arrangement between the Commonwealth and the State’s is changing for all time tomorrow. They get all of the GST and a lot of the other payments we make to the States end, although some don’t end. And the existing excise arrangement is a combination of the Federal component plus the State component which we have been collecting on their behalf at their request since the High Court decision in 1997. And because of the change in the Commonwealth/State financial relationship, which incidentally the State’s privately love – whether they’re Mr Bracks, or Mr Carr, or Mr Court, that is changing for all time so you’ve got to really compare the two aggregate Federal collections.

MITCHELL:

To cut through that are you saying the Government will take less tax out of petrol tomorrow than it does today?

PRIME MINISTER:

I’m saying that the Federal, the total Commonwealth excise collection now is 44 cents a litre, and the total Federal collection as from tomorrow will be 37 cents.

MITCHELL:

What about the overall tax. . . part of this sharing?

PRIME MINISTER:

I can’t put it any other way Neil. The total Federal collection now is 44 plus, and that includes, I’ve explained it, I’ve made it out. You say you’ve got to cut through it, well I can only explain it. The total collected by the Commonwealth is 44 plus – that includes a Federal component of 35 plus and a State component of 8 plus. Now that 44 will go down to 37, and they are the only comparisons you can legitimately make because the Federal/State financial relationship changes fundamentally tomorrow when they get the GST, and we end up the transitional period Financial Assistance Grant, and the whole excise arrangement between the Federal Government and the State Government gets subsumed into the new financial relationship between the central government and the States.

MITCHELL:

So you’re saying, you don’t expect petrol to go up tomorrow?

PRIME MINISTER:

We maintain that cost savings should be passed on. Petrol could go up or go down tomorrow for a whole series of reasons. It’s fluctuated this week by 4 cents a litre. The margin of argument between the Federal Government and some of the oil companies and the motoring organisations, the margin there has been around a cent a litre.

MITCHELL:

Phone charges we were told wouldn’t go up – they are.

PRIME MINISTER:

No some of them we said wouldn’t go up, but others. . .

MITCHELL:

The only thing protected is local calls.

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t think you’ll find, I mean I’ll have to comb through the fine print, but we gave undertakings in relations to untimed local calls but not in relation to other things, I don’t think.

MITCHELL:

Beer. Now we’ve had the beer. . .

PRIME MINISTER:

We’ve had a big debate about beer.

MITCHELL:

I see the figures today – your average beer, packaged beer goes up, premium beer goes down. Where’s the sense in that?

PRIME MINISTER:

It’s got to do with some of the premium beer, some of it’s imported. When you say what is the sense in that, well. . .

MITCHELL:

I’m talking about local beer like Cascade, Crown Lager – that sort of thing. They’re premium beers, they’re top end of the market, they’re going to be cheaper. But the average person’s beer’s going to be more expensive.

PRIME MINISTER:

The average. . . 75% I understand of beer sales are packaged, and the increase in that is really quite modest. The bar prices are higher, although not as high as those brewery ads suggested. They were suggesting around 9%. The AHA price list I saw had Victoria Bitter going up by 7.5 and Guinness by 5.7 and others by certainly less than 9.

MITCHELL:

The core issue I suppose is something that you said all along and I ask if you still by that in light of the points we’ve just gone through.

PRIME MINISTER:

All of those I might say are on, can I put it this way – they’re on the downside of tax reform. The up side of tax reform is that a lot of things are going to be cheaper in price. But far more important than that is the tax cuts, and the tax cuts – until people actually get their pay packets and see that their tax is lower and their take home pay is higher, until they actually get it….

MITCHELL:

So do you insist that no Australian will be worse off?

PRIME MINISTER:

Every taxpayer in my view will be better off.

MITCHELL:

There’s a lot lining up to say they’re not.

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t think you can really seriously address this until people have actually experienced it.

MITCHELL:

They know what they’re going to get and they’ve got an idea.

PRIME MINISTER:

It’s human nature Neil. Until you’ve got it in the hand you tend to disbelieve it.

MITCHELL:

We’ll take a call. Trudy go ahead please.

CALLER:

My concern is mostly with my daughter, she’s a university student. She doesn’t actually pay tax in the end because she earns under the threshold. She doesn’t receive any Government benefits. But as far as I can see, with a lot of the things that are going to go up, I can’t see how she’s not going to be worse off.

PRIME MINISTER:

What does she get. Is she paying HECS?

CALLER:

Yes she pays HECS.

PRIME MINISTER:

Has she deferred it, or is she having. . .

CALLER:

Yes she’s deferred it.

PRIME MINISTER:

And you say she doesn’t have any income at all.

CALLER:

No she has a part-time job.

PRIME MINISTER:

She wouldn’t get a tax cut.

CALLER:

No she won’t get any tax cuts.

PRIME MINISTER:

There are. . .

MITCHELL:

She’s paying more.

PRIME MINISTER:

It would depend on her. . . I don’t know what her family circumstances are, I mean I know lots of people, I have children of university age and they have lots of friends who have part-time jobs and they also have particular family circumstances…

CALLER:

My husband and I both work and I’m not complaining on our behalf, I believe that we will be fairly, reasonably well-off with the GST.

PRIME MINISTER:

What will your position be with the GST?

CALLER:

We both have an income, we both earn reasonable incomes.

PRIME MINISTER:

Each of you will get a tax cut.

CALLER:

We’ll get tax cuts, I’m pretty happy with that, not a problem at all, we’ll be better off. But we support her, she also has a chronic illness that we pay medical benefits for her, we can’t get anything back from the Government because our income is too high. I don’t have a complaint about that, I know that we earn a reasonably good income, I’m happy to do that. However what concerns me is that she, in herself because we are higher income earners, she’s not out there, she’s not taking money from us – she’s out there earning, she has a job to pay for herself, she deferred her HECS, she’s going to pay that but she’s now going to be hit with a few extra costs and she’s not getting any tax cuts.

MITCHELL:

But isn’t that one Australian who’s worse off Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well if she’s not a taxpayer, obviously she’s not going to get the benefit . . .

MITCHELL:

But a lot of people aren’t taxpayers.

PRIME MINISTER:

Is she on any kind of benefit or allowance?

CALLER:

No.

PRIME MINISTER:

No, she’s not. Well there is a provision for people who, you know can make application if they’re not, if they can demonstrate that they are worse off. They can make some kind of application. But whether she would get the benefit of that is something that would have to be determined according to her circumstances.

[commercial break]

MITCHELL:

Mr Howard, one of the aims of the tax reform was to make the system simpler. Do you still insist that it will be simpler?

PRIME MINISTER:

Once it is bedded down, yes, simpler than the present system, yes. But obviously in the transitional period, people have got to get use to a new system and I would understand why they would say that is complex. But anything new has a learning curve about it. The new system is not as simple as I would have liked. It could have been even simpler if the Democrats and the Labor Party and Senator Harradine had . .

MITCHELL:

Well what are the complications that worry you.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I would have preferred the original arrangement, but we’re not, let me make it clear, what we have passed through the Parliament is staying.

MITCHELL:

Yeah, it is better than the old system.

PRIME MINISTER:

Infinitely better than the old system. To start with the old system with the wholesale sales tax, you have four or five different rates of wholesale sales tax. It didn’t apply to some things, it did apply to others. Now that has to be more complicated than a single rate goods and services tax, has to be.

MITCHELL:

John, go ahead please.

CALLER:

Yes, Mr Howard good morning. I am a Liberal voter, I drink beer and I smoke and I feel ripped off. I think that you’ve put the excise on beer up by 9%, as a period to try and include in a GST when the brewery ads say it is not the GST, they are quite happy to pay the GST, but they’re increasing the excise by 9% so if I go to my local pub and enjoy a pot of beer, it is going to cost me another 20 or 30 cents. And I just don’t think that’s on.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, you say you are a Liberal voter and . . .

CALLER:

I am, I truly am.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, anyway I just ask you to – I don’t know whether you buy all your beer over the counter. Your packaged beer is not going up by anywhere near that. Have you worked out what your tax cut is?

CALLER:

Yeah, fairly low. I am single it is only about $20 I think.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I mean . . . .

MITCHELL:

Will you be worse off John?

CALLER:

Yes I will.

PRIME MINISTER:

Now . . . how? Just on the basis of beer? That’s not going up by . . .

CALLER:

Beer and petrol?

MITCHELL:

Beer, cigarettes and petrol, I mean they’re going up.

PRIME MINISTER:

Hang on, that’s not everything in life.

CALLER:

Ok, but hang on, I am a battler and I enjoy my beer and I enjoy my….

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes and I drive too. I gave up smoking twenty years ago. But anyway I am not preaching to you. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with your lifestyle but the point I am simply making is that I can’t . . . I mean you say you are going to be worse off. How without knowing exactly what your income is and what your expenditure pattern is I can’t make a judgement.

CALLER:

$35,000 a year.

PRIME MINISTER:

But John what I invite you to do is give the thing, give the thing a go for a month or two. I mean it is terribly easy at the moment for people to get scared. I mean the breweries are saying 9% and I don’t agree with and neither does the AHA, but anyway we will wait and see tomorrow and the days and weeks that follow. Give the whole thing a go.

MITCHELL:

Can I ask you another question about there’s a 10% cut off because Mr, Professor Fels has also said 10% maximum – here’s another one which has been faxed to me. Origin, which is a gas company increased 10.08%.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well . . .

MITCHELL:

Because of the GST.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well they say that. I mean, see the problem, the problem Neil with this is that when allegations are being made against a new system, there’s a tendency just to accept on face value the allegation that’s made, without any investigation and by the time I or Peter Costello has replied to it, it’s gone out of the news cycle and the reply never gets the same run as the allegation. I mean you remember that notorious example on your, I think on the Herald Sun in Melbourne ran something about footy tickets going up by a certain amount and in reality it was completely wrong.

MITCHELL:

Ok, but these two examples – I come back to the work cover one, I have got that in front of me too, 12% and I have from the Regulator-General in Victoria, gas price 10.08% because of the GST. Now these aren’t suggestions, this is fact.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes, I know. I am not saying that the increases haven’t been put on. What I am saying is to blame the component over 10% on the GST, I don’t accept.

MITCHELL:

But that means, we’re saying here that the Regulator-General and the Government on workcover is being dishonest about it.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I can’t accept that something can go up by 12 per cent as a result of the GST.

MITCHELL:

What about the newspapers, they are going up 10 per cent.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well they shouldn’t be going up by 10 per cent. Are you saying over 10 per cent?

MITCHELL:

No, 10 per cent.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well if they are going up by 10 per cent I’ve got to say that I find it very hard to believe that they don’t have embedded cost savings, I really do.

MITCHELL:

This is the problem. And how many people are going up the 10 per cent or, in some cases, more than 10 per cent.

PRIME MINISTER:

But against that Neil, there will be some people who, for marketing and other reasons, will come in below what they might otherwise be entitled to lift their price to. That is why it is essential with this before you can get a proper fix on it, you have got to allow a period of weeks, indeed months, to go by. You can’t make a decision on this the day before it starts.

MITCHELL:

When can we. When do we sit down and say…

PRIME MINISTER:

I don’t think you will have a proper fix on this, and I don’t think the Australian public will have made up its mind finally on this until probably four, five, six months after it has been introduced. I think there will be some initial reactions, probably within days, but they certainly won’t be final. I think that when people get their tax cuts in the next few days, next couple of weeks, that will have an impact. I think when small business comes to grips with it all, that will be important how it reacts. So, I just think it is going to take time.

Can I just go back to this question. I mean, the whole of this programme, understandably, has been essentially about what I might call, the downside of tax reform without the up side of it. I just ask people to say there is more to tax reform than the GST.

MITCHELL:

But the tax cuts in themselves are transient because they will be gobbled up…

PRIME MINISTER:

What do you mean they will be transient?

MITCHELL:

Well they will be gobbled up by bracket creep within a couple of years and you won’t index tax rates, they go.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well they will be far less so Neil, because you will be able to go from $20,000 a year, I mean that man John who said he was a Liberal voter, $25,000, he will be able to double his, if he’s getting 25 grand a year, he will be able to double that without going into a higher bracket.

MITCHELL:

Nick, go ahead please Nick.

CALLER:

Yes hi Mr Howard, how are you?

PRIME MINISTER:

Hello Nick.

CALLER:

My company is going to pay me 10 per cent GST on top of my labour rates to, payment rate, or whatever is going and it’s going straight into a cheque account. I have to pay FIDs and BADs on that. I still have to pay out the full 10 per cent. How do I go about.

PRIME MINISTER:

But hang on. What are your circumstances yourself?

CALLER:

Circumstances are that I am a sub contractor and the company is going to pay a 10 per cent GST loading on top of our [inaudable]

PRIME MINISTER:

They are going to pay you the loading?

CALLER:

No they are going to pay a 10 per cent GST. Now that goes straight into an account.

MITCHELL:

You’re putting in a bill with the GST and then you’re holding on to the GST and putting it into the account.

PRIME MINISTER:

I am sorry…

CALLER:

Then when we pay it to the Tax Department we have to pay out the full 10 per cent without tax which has been taken out from being deposited that we have to wear again.

MITCHELL:

We can’t put it under the bed.

PRIME MINISTER:

No, but I mean the FID and BAD taxes. FID is going next year as part of the arrangement. The Bank Account Debits Tax would have been abolished around the same time under the original arrangement. Because of the compromise that was reached with the Democrats, its abolition had to be delayed. Now that is a Victorian Government Tax. Perhaps you ought to ring up Mr Bracks. He’s very good at shifting the blame on occasions to us.

I mean, I am serious. I would have preferred both of those to have gone immediately. FID goes next year but BAD won’t go for several years and that is directly a result and attributable to the change in relation to the Democrats.

MITCHELL:

There are reports today, I think it’s in the Herald Sun, of many small businesses deciding to close because of the GST because they can’t cope with the complexities or the uncertainties. The workcover issue, I would suggest, would add to that because its money that it can’t get back there. Do you accept that some small businesses will go out of business because of what is happening?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well Neil, given the size of the country there may be some cases of that, but there may also be some cases where some people are going to wind up operations because they haven’t been in the system before and the new system means that they have either got to be in it and pay tax or give it all away.

Now I think you will have some people in that situation and is that necessarily wrong? Isn’t one of the advantages of this new system that it’s going to be that much harder to dodge your liabilities.

MITCHELL:

No but I’m not talking about those sort of people. I am talking about the local milkbar…..

PRIME MINISTER:

No but I have been very careful Neil to say that there are two groups. I am not saying for a moment that all of your local people are in that category. I am not saying that at all, be fair I am not saying that. And once again there are reports in the paper. I mean do you know anybody who’s done this. I have seen a few stories. One would have the impression that it’s thousands of businesses.

MITCHELL:

Well any business being forced out of business because of this change is an example of one Australian worse off.

PRIME MINISTER:

But Neil I can’t be responsible, and no Prime Minister can be responsible for the refusal of some people to come to terms with a change. Some people find any change at all something they just don’t want anything to do with. I mean when you make a commitment about people not being worse off, if somebody says, “well look I don’t like this change, I’m not interested in it, I’m not prepared to accommodate it therefore I am going to close down my business”, then to turn around and say that’s your fault John Howard, and that’s a breach of your undertaking.

I make undertakings based on reasonable expectations about reasonable and common behaviour, and that would not necessarily be, and I am not being critical of the person who might make their decision, that is their right in a democracy, but I think then to turn around and say “that’s your fault Howard” is a bit unreasonable.

MITCHELL:

What about the argument, and this links to the GST. The private health insurance change has come in and a number of families will have to join private health insurance will be penalised.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well they make a financial decision to do it.

MITCHELL:

Yeah sure. Do you accept that it eats up their tax cuts. I mean how do they pay for it. The footwear and the nappies and that sort of …

PRIME MINISTER:

No I don’t accept that. That is the equivalent of saying that if you decide to buy a more expensive car and you have larger lease payments….

MITCHELL:

But you have introduced a policy which is going to penalise them if they don’t join private health funds.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well make it less attractive, and there is nothing wrong with that. I mean that applies, I mean if you, if you’ve, people have got those decisions the whole time. I mean private health insurance is still optional. It is still open to people to use the public system if they choose to. What we’re saying, we’re giving people an incentive to join early. It’s a bit rich to turn around and say that that really in effect cancelled out tax cuts. People don’t have to do that. I mean if we, if we forced people to join private health private funds you’d have an argument. That would be compulsory. But we’re not forcing people to do it. I think it is fantastic that so many people are joining private health funds because what it’s going to do is not only protect them, but it is also going to take the load off the public hospital system.

MITCHELL:

Prime Minister, I know you need to get away. Just quickly, I’d suggest that perhaps even you don’t entirely understand the impact of the GST. We had the example yesterday with the, the booze. You go along with a pile of bottles and they put it through pre- and post-GST and they present you with something with the GST significantly less. Now there was an error in what they did, but you thought they were right? You thought that it would be significantly less . . .

PRIME MINISTER:

No, well I looked at the dockets, I’ve got to tell you I was somewhat surprised.

MITCHELL:

Ok. Will you be going to a pub today? To have a beer with some of these people?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am careful not to announce my movements, because it tends, it seems to be a funny thing wherever I go branch members of the Labor Party turn up pretending to be ordinary outraged public.

MITCHELL:

Oh, I think there might be a few ordinary outraged public out there as well.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes, but they’re normally helped with a few branch members Neil, you know how it operates.

MITCHELL:

Now, I read in the Woman’s Day that on every Sunday morning you go for a walk through Sydney and buy some flowers for Mrs Howard.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well . . .

MITCHELL:

Would you be paying GST on those on Sunday morning?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I mean I do go for a walk and, but I try and keep my private arrangements between my wife and myself.

MITCHELL:

Fair enough. Maybe this one isn’t so private. Race 9 at Echuca today – GST is running, 4.29. Is he going to win?

PRIME MINISTER:

Can’t lose.

MITCHELL:

Well ?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I tell you what in the long run I mean . . . but I’ve got to tell you . . .

MITCHELL:

Well any horse that runs long enough is going to pass the post eventually.

PRIME MINISTER:

No, but look give it a few months. I mean easy . . . look we’ve gone through the salad days for the critics. It’s been easy for the Labor Party to score hits over the last few months. And all you’ve got to do is make a claim and whether it’s right or wrong or a bit rough at the edges, it will get reported.

MITCHELL:

Look, fair enough, but business is going to have ride that time out. People are going to be uncertain. People are going to be reluctant to spend. We’re going to have a slump in spending, aren’t we?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I think that’s, I think that is an exaggeration. I don’t believe we are going to have a slump in spending. I think people could well find with their tax cuts that they’ve got a bit more disposable income than they expected and if that is the case they may spend a little more than you expect. I mean sure with a huge change like this I can’t predict every single reaction. Nobody’s that good. And I thank people for the way they’ve come along with it so far, particularly small business for getting ready. And I mean I’ve got a great belief that people will give it a go. And as I say I think it will work, and I think in a few months time people will be positive about it. But it will take a few months. But if they’re not well I just have to cop that and because I mean I am responsible for this. I can’t, I don’t blame anybody else for this tax reform. I mean I drove it very hard and I believe in it and I want it to work because I think it’s good for the country.

MITCHELL:

Thank you very much for your time.

PRIME MINISTER:

Ok.

[Ends]

Transcript 22820