The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of David Bradbury

David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Transcript of 14/03/2012

NO.008

Interview with Marius Benson

ABC Newsradio

14 March 2012

SUBJECTS: Coalition opposition to company tax cuts

BRADBURY:

MARIUS BENSON:

David Bradbury, the Greens and Coalition are against your tax plans for different reasons. Are you prepared to compromise?

DAVID BRADBURY:

Look, we are determined to deliver a tax cut to ensure that all businesses right across this country share in the benefits of the mining tax and give all companies the tax cut that they deserve.

BENSON:

What about the Greens' argument, that sure we'll support you in giving tax cuts to small businesses but the big end of town does not need it and we won't back those.

BRADBURY:

Well, look the Greens will take whatever position the Greens choose to take on this but I think most Australians would be dumbfounded to learn that Mr Abbott wants to go into Parliament and to oppose a tax cut for business. Now can we really think of any other Liberal leader in the history of that Party that would go into the Parliament and vote against a tax cut for business?

BENSON:

But the Opposition's argument is that your whole package is a bit of a pea and thimble trick because you are offering tax cuts to businesses provided by a tax increase on the miners. They are against the whole idea.

BRADBURY:

Well, they might be against the whole idea but it is a very sensible idea, it is an idea that says we are doing exceptionally well through the resources boom, but we need to spread the benefits of that to make sure that all Australians and all businesses get a stake in that. Now, on the Opposition, if they seriously walk into the Parliament and vote down these tax cuts, let's just take a look at what their position ultimately ends up being. That means that they are the Party out there with no plans for a tax cut, have not announced any plans for a tax cut for business, but they have announced a plan to impose a massive paid parental leave tax on the very businesses they are trying to deny this Government trying to give a tax cut to. Now, fair dinkum, is this the Liberal Party? What is going on here? Mr Abbott would have to go down as the only Liberal Party leader in its history to support higher taxes for business rather than lower taxes.

BENSON:

Now the Government has two separate pieces of legislation, it has its mining tax Bills and it has these tax cuts that will be funded by the mining tax. If the tax cuts are blocked does the mining tax still go ahead?

BRADBURY:

Well, look we are determined to spread the benefits of the mining boom to all Australians and that -

BENSON:

So the answer is yes, to just clarify that? The mining tax will go ahead regardless what happens with the tax cuts?

BRADBURY:

Just to be clear, there are other beneficiaries of the mining tax, not just business through a tax cut to business but also we indicated that we wanted to boost superannuation and retirement savings for working Australians by increasing the compulsory superannuation rate from 9 to 12 per cent. So we are determined to implement this mining tax, but our determination is just as strong to ensure that we get the legislation through to deliver a tax cut to business and in particular those businesses that we know need this assistance most.

BENSON:

This would be a bit of a bonus for a Government trying to get their Budget back in the black though, wouldn't it, if you got your tax through, the mining tax, and have your tax cuts blocked. It would be quiet useful in that regard.

BRADBURY:

Look, we have made a very clear commitment that we want to give a tax cut to business, particularly those businesses that need it the most. We are determined to do that, but in order to do that we need to get it through the Parliament. We will throw every effort behind that endeavour, but I think the Australian people will need to have a very close, hard look at Mr Abbott and his conduct. I think it is just extraordinary that we have got a Liberal Party leader that has become so negative; there is nothing to which he won't say no. But he is now prepared to walk into Parliament and actually say, 'no, I'm opposed to a tax cut for business'. I just think that is extraordinary.

BENSON:

The other news that is around today in financial circles is the Government has confirmed that the businessman David Gonski will be the new chairman of the Future Fund.

BRADBURY:

That is a matter for the Minister for Finance and for the Prime Minister and they will no doubt be having more to say about that shortly.

BENSON:

But David Gonski - well equipped for that demanding job?

BRADBURY:

I am not going to provide a running commentary on the suitability of candidates, but I have to say that when you look at someone like Mr Gonski, I travel around business circles around this country and he is an eminently respected individual and above and beyond his commitment to maintain strong businesses in this economy, he is also someone who has contributed to other policy as we have seen through his efforts on the education reforms.

BENSON:

David Bradbury, thank you very much.

BRADBURY:

Thank you very much Marius.