10 February 2017

Labor has run out of excuses on business tax cuts as RBA governor exposes their threat to jobs

Labor has run out of excuses to justify their hypocritical opposition to the Turnbull Government’s plans to drive more jobs and higher wages through lower business taxes, following the independent confirmation by RBA Governor Philip Lowe that reducing the burden of tax on employers will help employees and make Australia more internationally competitive.

Bill Shorten has run out of excuses and Labor’s hypocrisy has been exposed. The RBA Governor has independently made it clear that Labor’s failure to support the Government’s Enterprise Tax Plan will mean lower wages and less jobs for Australian workers and their families.

The RBA Governor makes it clear that our tax system is becoming uncompetitive and that we risk becoming stranded internationally and constrained in our efforts to increase investment in jobs and wages following the once in a lifetime mining boom.

Governor Lowe has sounded an independent warning that Australia is falling further behind our international competitors in being able to attract the critical investment we need to grow Australian jobs and lift wages. Fifteen years ago we had the ninth lowest business tax rate among advanced economies, today just five of the 35 OECD nations have a business tax rate higher than Australia’s.

The RBA Governor’s independent statement makes Labor's opposition to lower business tax completely untenable.

Once again Bill Shorten has been exposed as a political opportunist who will do anything and say anything for his own political gain, from back flipping on savings measures he once opposed, to opposing a tax cut he once supported, to risking Australia’s AAA credit rating, or courting inner-city Green votes through higher electricity prices for business and consumers. Bill Shorten is all about Bill Shorten.

Of course Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen argued vociferously for a more competitive company tax rate:

“Cutting the company income tax rate increases domestic productivity and domestic investment. More capital means higher productivity and economic growth and leads to more jobs and higher wages.” Bill Shorten; House of Representatives – 23 August 2011

“It’s a Labor thing to have the ambition of reducing company tax, because it promotes investment, creates jobs and drives growth.” Chris Bowen; ‘Hearts and Minds’ – 2013

And Labor can’t hide behind a false affordability argument. The Government’s Enterprise Tax Plan is fully funded in the Budget, incorporated into the medium term projections which show the Budget returning to balance in 2020-21. Labor factored a reversal of the plan into their costings at the last election and would still leave the Budget worse off by $16.5 billion.

Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen have nowhere to hide and they have run out of excuses.

Governor Lowe’s comments show that Labor risks creating an economic recipe of higher taxes and falling investment, resulting in a vicious cycle of stagnating growth and eroding living standards for Australians if they oppose our plans to back businesses and the hard-working Australians who rely on our nation remaining internationally competitive.