The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Peter Costello

Peter Costello

Treasurer

11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Transcript of 07/06/2005

Interview with Mike Carlton
2UE

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

7.30 am

SUBJECTS: Tax Cuts

CARLTON:

Good morning.

TREASURER:

Good morning Mike, good to talk to you.

CARLTON:

Is that figure about right, that if Labor blocks the tax cuts it could cost taxpayers an extra $350 million?

TREASURER:

It depends how long they block them. If it were three months it could be even higher, up around over $700 million, so it depends the length of time that they are successful in blocking them. Of course if they don’t block them, workers will not be out of pocket at all, but if they go ahead with this crazy strategy they will lose a lot of money.

CARLTON:

And I see too that some of the business software companies like MYOB who put out software for calculating tax, they are saying this will cause them absolute chaos.

TREASURER:

Yes, what has to happen now is because Labor won’t guarantee it will allow the schedules through, these are the schedules that employers use to take tax out, the Tax Commissioner has had to distribute two different schedules, these schedules are about 100 pages, (inaudible) pages, and MYOB has had to prepare them in software form and as a consequence of this employers have had the confusion of two different schedules, (inaudible) tax rates and as of today because of Labor’s blocking tactics you can’t tell which is the right one.

CARLTON:

Running out of time too when small business, big and small, have to deal with the new superannuation changes on July 1.

TREASURER:

In addition to, this is the terrible thing, that about 850,000 employers in Australia, with tax cuts which are due on the 1st of July, which is less than four weeks away now, none of those employers can tell you what the tax rate they have to apply are, there are changes coming in relation to superannuation, and all this is being done as a political stunt. The tax cuts will come into force eventually Mike, they will eventually become law, this is just a stunt, you cannot stop these tax cuts, Labor can’t stop the tax cuts, the only thing they can do is delay and cause extra costs to employers.

CARLTON:

Okay, but you can sort that out yourself though, by the Government calling in the new Senate to sit on July 1?

TREASURER:

Well, what is the point? The Senate hasn’t even voted on these changes yet…

CARLTON:

Yes, but if Labor blocks them, with the old Senate as they could do with the other Opposition parties, you could call the new Senate to sit from July 1 to get them through.

TREASURER:

…well, there is a few problems with that. First of all, if you call in the new Senate it is millions of dollars in cost of course. Second point you have got to swear in something like 15 new Senators. And the third point is that even if you got it through immediately, you have got to turn around and produce new schedules and you have got to table new schedules and that in itself is going to take time. So, you have got time, you have cost and all because Mr Beazley won’t allow these schedules through the Parliament.

CARLTON:

Alright, good to talk to you. Thanks for your time.

TREASURER:

A pleasure to be with you Mike, thanks.