The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

7 May 2012

Doorstop Interview

Canberra

SUBJECTS: A ‘fair go' Budget, tax relief for small business, Schoolkids Bonus, infrastructure, putting a price on carbon

TREASURER:

Tuesday night's budget will show that the Australian economy walks tall in the global economy but supports low and middle income earners at home. It will be a surplus budget but it will be a fair go budget as well, supporting low and middle income earners, particularly with the Schoolkids Bonus but also support for small business and the first steps in terms of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It will also show that we in Australia have done so much better than many other countries around the world and what that means for Australia is that we can have confidence in our economic fundamentals and what we've seen overnight is a ringing endorsement, a ringing endorsement from the International Monetary Fund. This is what they've had to say: “We welcome the authority's commitment to return to a budget surplus by 2012-13 to rebuild fiscal buffers putting Government finances in a stronger position to deal with shocks and long term pressures from an ageing population and rising health care costs."

The other point I would make is that tax as a percentage of GDP or a share of the economy will be lower than in any year under the previous Liberal Government. Over to you.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Swan, (inaudible)?

TREASURER:

Well, what I've made very, very clear is that we will provide tax relief for small business. So in terms of the instant asset write off, that's proceeding from 1 July and yesterday I announced Loss Carry Back. Another measure which was recommended to us by the Business Tax Working Group. So we're supportive of providing tax relief to business and we're very serious in our engagement with the business community on tax matters, working through the Business Tax Working Group.

JOURNALIST:

But is this because of a 1 per cent cut that was promised as part of the MRRT?

TREASURER:

Well, that's a matter for Mr Abbott and the Liberals because, as you're aware, they've already said that they're vehemently opposed to that measure. So that's a matter for Mr Abbott and the Liberals to consider.

JOURNALIST:

Are you going to introduce the legislation to do it though?

TREASURER:

Well, what we're going to do is bring down the budget tomorrow night with all of the measures in it and you'll have to wait until tomorrow night to see all the measures in the budget.

JOURNALIST:

You've already promised this though.

TREASURER:

No, no I'm making a broader point. We'll be introducing legislation in terms of the measures that we've talked about and we will be there with Loss Carry Back but you'll have to wait for the full set of budget measures tomorrow night.

JOURNALIST:

So you plan to delay the corporate tax cut?

TREASURER:

No what I'm saying is that the matter of the corporate tax cut is entirely a matter for Mr Abbott and the Liberals.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Swan, what do you make of Access Economics modelling that you need to find $5 billion in savings to make the surplus sustainable?

TREASURER:

Well, we're going to bring our budget back to surplus and the details of how we come back to surplus will be there for people to see tomorrow night.

JOURNALIST:

Are the education payments concession for carbon tax could hit families come July 1.

TREASURER:

The fact is that the Schoolkids Bonus is there to assist families with cost of living pressures which flow particularly from education, and only Mr Abbott could be so negative as to take a wrecking ball to something as constructive as a Schoolkids Bonus.

JOURNALIST:

Why won't the federal government commit $2 billion for the North-West Rail Link, and is it true that you've told the state government that it should just put more buses on instead?

TREASURER:

No, none of that is true. What we have done is make some very substantial commitments to infrastructure in New South Wales and we need the New South Wales government to come to the party.

JOURNALIST:

(Inaudible) surplus significant risks to economic growth, what's your reaction to that?

TREASURER:

Well my reaction is for example the analysis which is done by the IMF today, which I just read out to you before. The fact is we do need to come back to surplus as a buffer against uncertainty in the global economy. We need to come back to surplus because it provides the Reserve Bank maximum flexibility when it comes to the setting of interest rates. We've already seen rate cuts last week.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, on the carbon tax, would the government consider extending the floor price on the back of that Bloomberg report today saying that it could collapse?

TREASURER:

Well, I don't except the foundations of the Bloomberg report today. Thanks very much.