MONDAY, 21 MARCH 2016
SUBJECT/S: Government’s attack on household budgets; Federal Election 2016.
JACQUIE PEDERSON, LABOR’S CANDIDATE FOR PETRIE: Good morning and thank you Tony for coming out and visiting us in North Lakes and Redcliffe today. We’ve been speaking with local business owners and exploring the needs of businesses locally.
TONY BURKE, MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS AND SHADOW FINANCE MINISTER: Thanks very much. It’s great to be here today with Jacqiue Pederson. We’ve been meeting with local small businesses starting at Redcliffe and now here at North Lakes. The issues people have been working through have been very much guided by a Government that’s in disarray, a Government that’s is chaos and a situation where day-after-day we get a different thought bubble from this Government on tax policy.
Today’s one is extraordinary. Today, we’ve been told the latest thinking from the Government is they want to be able to deliver a company tax cut and a tax cut for the wealthiest people in Australia. That’s their priority. How are they going to pay for it? They pay for these tax cuts by attacking Medicare; they also attack penalty rates and they also attack family payments.
Now, I’ve got to say: in terms of an equation, I think when people realise what Malcolm Turnbull is proposing is tax cuts for his corporate mates, tax cuts for the top end of town and it gets paid for by attacking family payments and attacking Medicare. People know exactly what this Government is about and they know a Government lead by Malcolm Turnbull is not a government lead for them.
REPORTER: Local government elections here in Queensland over the weekend. Still the LNP with a stronghold here, is that concerning for yourself?
BURKE: Every time there’s an election a members of the Labor Party wants Labor to be able to do as well as possible. I don’t think anyone is lost to the reality of the priorities of the Turnbull Government and they know that an election is now imminent.
It won’t be long before people are given the choice as to what direction they want Australia to take. The priorities of that direction under Malcolm Turnbull are clear: he will want to deliver tax cuts for the top end of town, for his corporate mates, and people will have to pay for it through attacks on the household budget and attacks on Medicare.
REPORTER: Brisbane in particular had a strong LNP following, will you be focusing efforts there?
BURKE: We have very strong candidates in the Brisbane area and obviously a very strong candidate here in Petrie. We take nothing for granted, but we also know every day we get closer to the next federal election people are looking more closely at Malcolm Turnbull and they are seeing a big gap between what this man says and what he actually does.
For all the talk when he first arrived, the priorities are now becoming clear and it’s his corporate mates who are being looked after while every other Australian just gets the attack on the household budget.
REPORTER: Peter Dutton is very popular in the seat of Petrie, what will you be doing to unseat him here?
PEDERSON: I probably would disagree. I’ve been doorknocking and people are very unhappy with Peter Dutton. But obviously Peter Dutton is in the seat of Dickson and we don’t have a candidate yet to run against Peter Dutton and we’re hoping to have that resolved very shortly.
BURKE: It doesn’t matter whether it’s somebody – I see this guy in Parliament and I don’t think the Australian public ultimately want people bereft of policy ideas where the only thing they have to offer is anger and abuse. They want priorities and they want priorities that are about them.
That’s why Bill Shorten has been out there making sure Labor is leading the tax debate. The tax debate is the debate that drives the economy and drives where people’s household budgets end up. We’re getting closer and closer to the Budget. The Government doesn’t even know the date it will be held, but we know we’re getting closer to it. This Budget is looking more and more like Tony Abbott’s 2014 Budget.