Budget reply | Opposition claims it can double government’s income tax cuts

Bill Shorten has his say on the Governments Budget

Introduction: Budget reply | Opposition claims it can double government’s income tax cuts

Ross Greenwood: Welcome back to Monday News right around the country. The members are congregating in Parliament House in Canberra in the House of Representatives. Just before we go there I should also pay a small tribute to my former colleague Charles Slide, former senior reporter at GTV.  The news right around in Australia who died after an illness. Very sad, 70 years old and certainly will be missed. Anyway, let’s go to the Parliament House and this is Bill Shorten.

Bill Shorten: The people of Australia deserve better than this, and a Labor Government will deliver better than this. Better than 10 years of cuts to schools and hospitals in exchange for A$ 10 a week. A$ 10 a week. That’s all that the Liberals think it will take, for you to forgive and forget. They think that for A$ 10, you’ll forget they tried to put up your taxes last year. That, for A$10 you won’t care about the cuts to your child’s school. That, for A$ 10 you’ll forgive waiting for elective surgery at Australia’s hospitals. That, for A$10, you won’t mind if your internet’s no good or your local tape is closing or your daughter can’t find a place at Uni. They think that if you get A$10 a week, you won’t notice that you’re losing A$70 in penalty rates from you Sunday pay.

This Prime Minister is so out of touch. He thinks that if he gives A$10 away– if you get A$10 a week, you’ll be fine with the bank’s getting a A$17 billion give away. The Liberals desperately want you to believe that this budget is fair, but here is what the Prime Minister isn’t telling you. His A$715 million cut to hospitals is still in the budget. His A$17 billion cut to schools is still in the budget and his A$80 billion hand out to big business brands and multinationals is most certainly still in the budget.

This budget still cuts money from our Universities, and it contains a sneaky new A$270 million cut to. The Prime Minister is still cutting A$14 from pensioners every fortnight. He’s cutting dental care for veterans; he’s cutting the ABC, yet again. He is capping Medicare frozen for specialist visits. He’s even capping the GST on tampons and he is still increasing the retirement age to 70.

So tonight, Australians should ask themselves if your family relies on any of these services, what kind of future is this Prime Minister, really offering you?

My fellow Australians, I am here to outline Labor’s plan to bring the fair go back into the heart of our nation. A plan to properly fund health and education. A plan to boost your wages, and plan for real tax cuts to help you with your family budget. It’s a plan that we can afford because we are not going to spend A$80 billion of tax expenditure on big business and the big banks. It’s a plan that will work because Australia thrives when middle and working class Australians can get ahead.

Tonight is about a fair go for everyone who wants the best for their kids and their future. A fair go for every part of our nation from Bush to cost, from growing cities and suburbs right throughout the country. A fair go for the real forgotten people, working families, pensioners and Australians doing it tough.

Now, Mr. Speaker, our plan begins with a better and fairer tax system. After years of flat wages, rising power bills, increasing health costs under the Government. It is a time for a fair income tax cut for middle class and working class Australians. Now, I’ve already said that Labor will support the Government’s modest tax cuts, starting on the 1st of July this year but Mr. Speaker, tonight I am pleased to announce that our Labor Government will go further and do better on tax cuts for working and middle-class Australians.

[applause]

Bill Shorten: Tonight, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to advise that in our first budget we will deliver a bigger, better and fairer tax cut for 10 million working Australians. Almost double, in fact, what the Government offered on Tuesday. This is our pledge to 10 million working Australians. Under Labor, you will pay less income tax because I think that you are more important than multinationals, big banks, and big business.

[applause]

Bill Shorten: In our first term of Government, a teacher earning A$65,000, will be A$2,780 better off under Labor. An extra A$928 each year. A married couple, one serving in our defense forces, earning A$90,000, and the others working in H Care on A$50,000 will be A$5,565 dollars better off under Labor. A combined A$1,855 extra each year, under Labor.

We can afford to do more to help these 10 million Australians because we are not giving A$80 billion to big business, and the big four banks. And because we have already made hard choices for budget repair: Creating a level playing field for first home buyers by reforming negative gearing in capital gains.

Cracking down on tax minimization by eliminating income splitting in discretionary trust without affecting our farmers, and in the unsustainable tax refunds for people who currently pay no income tax while protecting pensioners and charities.

Mr. Speaker, at the next election there will be a very clear choice on tax. 10 million Australians will pay less income tax under Labor, and we can afford to cut the taxes of 10 million Australians without cutting services because unlike the Liberals, we are not wasting A$80 billion on a discredited corporate tax give away to the top-end of town.

Mr. Speaker, Labor’s plans mean that we can deliver a winning trifecta in Government. A genuine tax cut for middle and working class Australians, proper funding for hospitals, schools, and the safety net and paying back more of Australia’s national debt faster.

There was a time; I remember, when the Liberals ran around saying that our national debt of A$227 billion was a budget emergency. There was a time; I remember, when they were first elected, that they said that every man, women, and child owed A$9,000.

But on Tuesday night, I do not remember–

Ross Greenwood: Okay with Bill Shorten. You can hear that he is now saying that he would use the fact that Labor would not bring in company tax cuts to deliver bigger personal tax cuts, especially, to what he calls, “Average working Australians.” Plus, also, to be able to bring down Australia’s debt faster while continuing to fund schools and hospitals. We’ll bring you more details of that as we get away. We’re going to take a break here. When we come back stick with Harold Mitchell.

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