Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs
5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013
14 March 2012
SUBJECTS: Coalition opposition to tax cuts for small business
Most Australians are used to Tony Abbott saying no, but I think that most Australians will be dumbfounded to learn that Tony Abbott intends to come into the Parliament and to vote against the tax cuts for small businesses.
The Government wants to ensure that we spread the benefits of the mining boom and that means that we will give a tax cut to small businesses and to businesses that are doing it tough in manufacturing, in retail and in tourism. But Tony Abbott wants to say no to a tax cut for business.
When it comes to this tax cut, we saw at the last election that Tony Abbott went to the last election saying he was going to cut the taxes but now he has an opportunity to support the Government's effort to cut taxes, but instead it seems that what he said at the last election was no more than a three-word slogan.
Tony Abbott faces the danger of going down as the only Liberal Party leader in history to come into the Parliament and vote against a tax cut for business.
It's also a tax rise for business though, isn't it?
Tony Abbott's committed to giving a big fat tax cut to a handful of the biggest miners in this country but he wants to stand in the way of us providing a tax cut for small businesses and those businesses that are doing it tough in parts of the economy that are facing great challenges, particularly as a result of the exchange rate, the high dollar.
We want to give a tax cut to small businesses, to businesses in manufacturing, in tourism and in retail. These are the people that need our assistance. We want to give them a tax cut. Tony Abbott is in danger of going down as the only Liberal leader in history to block a tax cut for business.
How do you think you'll negotiate with the Greens? They seem to be playing hard ball. They'll support tax cuts for small business but no further tax cuts after that.
Look, we'll continue to talk to all parties but the Australian people are going to look very closely at Tony Abbott over the coming weeks and they're going to have a look at whether or not he is able to deliver on the rhetoric we have heard from him for many years.
Now, this is the Liberal Party. They are, after all, allegedly the Party of business, yet when it comes to providing a tax cut to businesses in need, Mr Abbott is so negative that he wants to come into the Parliament and say no.
This bloke is so negative, he is so negative, that he would say no to the canonisation of Mother Theresa if the Government proposed it.
We need to get our tax cuts through the Parliament, through the Senate. Mr Abbott has an opportunity to make good on all the rhetoric that we've heard. He said he'd cut taxes but all we've heard from him is he has a new tax he wants to propose, but when we want to cut taxes he wants to deny those tax cuts to small business, to businesses in manufacturing, in retail and tourism. The only tax cut Mr Abbott has to offer is a big fat tax cut for a handful of mining magnates.
Is there room for the Government to compromise on the substantive issues of the tax with the Greens at all?
Look, we've been very clear on what we intend to do. We think because of the challenging nature of the multi-speed economy, the patch-work economy, that we need to introduce this mining tax so that we can spread the benefits of the boom. We went to the election with a clear platform for this particular proposal. We are determined to deliver a tax cut to those businesses that need it most, the small business, the businesses in manufacturing, tourism and retail.
After all, Mr Abbott is the bloke that runs around on the factory floor telling working people that he's there to protect their jobs but when the companies that employ these workers are facing challenges as a result of the high Australian dollar and we want to give them a tax cut, he wants to come into the Parliament and say no. Well it's not good enough. The Australian people deserve better and Mr Abbott is going to have to front up and do what I think people expect of him, and that is support lower taxes, not higher taxes.