Terri Butler speaking in the House of Representatives on 17th March 2017 on the economic priorities of the Liberal government.
Read the full speech below.
Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (13:28): Under this government what happens when company profits go up? They continue to prosecute their argument for $50 billion of tax cuts for big business and the big banks. At the same time we are seeing this government refuse to take any action whatsoever about the fact that low-paid and vulnerable workers are going to be taking a pay cut at the same time. Wages growth is terribly slow in this country. It is as slow as it has been since they started taking the WPI figures back in 1997. Underemployment is rife. It is at a record level since records started being taken in 1978. Company profits, though, are doing pretty well. So you would think that, if a government had its priorities right, it would not say: 'What can we do to change the way that we run the budget in this country? How about we get rid of $50 billion of revenue? We can give it away to big corporations and the big banks while at the same time we can continue to pursue cuts to university funding, cuts to family tax benefits and attacks on pensioners and make it harder for people to bear the cost of living.' Yet that is the bill we are debating here today, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan) Bill 2016. It is a bill to give that tax revenue to big corporations and the big banks.
The potential dividend is very low. Look not at what the government is saying about this policy, which of course is in a sort of fantasy land where trickle-down economics just works—you just give more money to people who are already at the top end of town and somehow it just trickles down to the rest of us—but at what the independent experts are saying. They are very sceptical about the sorts of results and dividends that this policy will actually yield.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Coulton ): The debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 43. The debate may be resumed at a later hour. The member for Griffith will be given an opportunity at that time to complete her speech.