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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 41680

Doorstop with the Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation

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: 25/06/2018

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 41680

Subject(s): Income tax relief, Enterprise Tax Plan, foreign interference, State of Origin

Location: Canberra

PRIME MINISTER:

Well good morning.

So Zed, this is a balmy day by Canberra’s standards.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SCIENCE, JOBS AND INNOVATION, SENATOR THE HON ZED SESELJA:

It is, we’ve warmed it up for you.

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

Well that’s very kind, thank you.

You know we've just met with young families. This is all about aspiration. They’re getting married, they’ve bought housing, they’re planning on having a family and they are benefiting from our tax relief.

They're looking forward to being able to keep more of the money that they earned – it’s their money, not the government’s. They've got expenses. They've got kids, they've got mortgages and they know that our Government is working for them. We want them to do well. We recognise, we honour, we support their aspirations to get ahead and to make a better life for themselves and their families.

And Zed they really appreciate our tax relief, don’t they?

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SCIENCE, JOBS AND INNOVATION:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean it’s good to hear from Kylie with four kids, you know talking about the fact that middle income earners often don't get relief and it’s great to be able to deliver that absolutely.

PRIME MINISTER:

So that's what it's all about. More opportunities, more jobs, record jobs growth last year. A stronger economy – 3.1 per cent GDP growth. That’s what it is all about and what we're doing is providing the support for these hard-working Australian families to keep more of the money they earn and at the same time recognising that Government's got to live within its’ means. We've turned the corner on debt. We're bringing down the debt we inherited from Labor.

The Government is living within its’ means and at the same time providing record funding for the essential services – whether it is schools, hospitals, national security and infrastructure. So, we have an economic plan that is working and it is delivering for hard-working Australian families.

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister, Michael McCormack said this morning he’s hopeful that Pauline Hanson might change her mind about company tax cuts. While it’s cold here this morning, how hopeful are you that the crossbenchers hearts will warm to your reform?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, we’re always working hard to secure the support of the Senate and the crossbench in particular, for our reforms. So, we look forward to continuing our discussions.

We deal with the crossbench and all members in Parliament with respect, constructively and over the years, we've found that as that has given us some success in getting legislation passed.

JOURNALIST:

The numbers aren’t there currently to get the company tax cuts to pass through the senate, what does that mean for the Government if it fails?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well we're focused on getting it passed. We recognise that we need to have a competitive tax rate and you know you don't have to take my word for it.

Look at what Bill Shorten said a few years ago. Look at what Paul Keating did. Look at Chris Bowen, wrote a book about the need for Australia to have a competitive tax rate.

We are in a very competitive global environment. Arguably, more competitive than ever. So we need to be competitive in terms of our tax rate to encourage investment.

JOURNALIST:

Foreign interference laws - do you expect them to go through and pass this week? Why do we need them?

PRIME MINISTER:

We should never ever be complacent about protecting Australia’s sovereignty and our democracy.

The foreign interference laws are designed to do no more than ensure that Australians are responsible for our political decisions, for our democracy and that where foreign interests seek to influence affairs in Australia. they do so openly. It's all about transparency, security and maintaining our sovereignty.

JOURNALIST:

Paul Hanson has said for her support she’d like more to be done to tackle multinational tax avoidance. Is the Government doing enough there?

PRIME MINISTER: 

Well we are doing more on multinational tax avoidance than any previous government, than any previous federal government. In fact, our Multinational Tax Avoidance Legislation which is one of the toughest in the world – in fact many people say the toughest in the whole OECD - has resulted in $7 billion of additional corporate revenue coming in to the Australian tax net. That's one of the reasons why the Budget is in better shape. So we've been relentless in this.

I mean look, we’re Liberals - we believe in lower taxes, but tax is not optional. It’s compulsory. So, we want to have lower taxes, but everybody has to pay their share in accordance with the law. We're getting very good results from that. So, we're very committed to everybody paying their tax. Whether they're big companies or smaller companies, everyone's got to pay their fair share of tax.

JOURNALIST:

The Labor Party has launched some attack ads over the weekend, some of your colleagues having described them as grubby. One Minister said effectively Labor is playing you and not the politics of the company tax cuts. Have you seen the ads and what do you make of them?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I saw a report of them, but they just appear to be an example of how the Labor Party is just abandoning everything it used to stand for.

So they're now – they want to attack me for having a quid, they want to attack me and Lucy for working hard, investing and having a go, making money, paying tax, paying plenty of tax, giving back to the community - which we do. That’s apparently not the Labor way anymore, right? You're not allowed to have a go or be successful.

Really the Labor party has turned on everything it stood for. It used to be a Party that supported aspiration, people getting ahead, people aspiring to build businesses, get on, employ people, you make a buck, pay your tax all that, Luce and I have done that all our lives. Absolutely all our lives. So, now they want to attack that.

Well you know, really it is aspiration and investment and people having a go and being enterprising, that actually makes the economy work. Like these young people here, that's what they’re doing. So, if they're successful, they’re more successful, presumably the Labor Party will attack them.

Look, I have to say that the old Labor leaders, whether it’s my old mate Neville Wran, or Bob Hawke or Keating, they would be as be horrified by Bill Shorten’s politics of envy. This mean-spirited negativity that we're seeing from Shorten, they would be as horrified as of it as obviously, Anthony Albanese is.

So what we want is, we want all Australians to be able to be able to aspire to get ahead. We want to give them every encouragement and that is real. That is what makes the economy grow. It is the reason we’re growing at 3.1 per cent. Because people are having a go.

JOURNALIST:

On energy policy, are you confident you can quell dissent within your own party on the NEG? What is your message to those that have indicated they might cross the floor on you?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well the National Energy Guarantee is a great policy. It will secure lower energy prices. It will secure reliable and affordable energy. You don't have to take my word for it. Look at what the Energy Security Board says, it will reduce wholesale power prices.

In fact, we've already seen wholesale power prices reduced under our policies by about 30 per cent over the last year. We've seen gas prices, wholesale gas prices, come down by about 50 per cent over the last 18 months. We're starting to see retail prices - which is obviously where it really counts, the electricity power bill you get at home – they're starting to come down too. So we are turning the corner on higher energy prices because we have a plan for affordable and reliable energy.

Now on that note, I must bid you farewell and encourage you all to rug up.

JOURNALIST:

Any thoughts on the State of Origin last night?

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh hey! What a great game, yes, thank you I'm glad you asked about that.

Well it all went very well for the mighty Roosters of course with Boyd Cordner and Brad Fittler.

Look, yeah, I think it's fantastic. If you're a New South Wales supporter or a Blues fan, these victories are all too rare. But I think it’s fantastic and I want to congratulate Boyd and the whole team for a great game. Well done.

And again it's very, very good omen for a Roosters fan, thanks a lot.

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

Thanks a lot. Look, I’ll leave Zed to provide that advice. Yeah they’ve been some controversial penalties in every code haven’t there?

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SCIENCE, JOBS AND INNOVATION:

Well, in rugby.

PRIME MINISTER:

And of course soccer. Yes, so anyway, it's good. It's very good, really fantastic, go the Blues.

[ENDS]

Transcript 41680