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Get the tax mix right - Transcript, Ticky Sky Business

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TV INTERVIEW

TICKY, SKY BUSINESS

WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018

SUBJECT: Budget 2018-19.

TICKY FULLERTON, HOST: Let’s get some reaction to the Budget from the other side of politics now. Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh joins me from Canberra. Andrew Leigh, good to see you there.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Likewise, Ticky.

FULLERTON: Now, we’ve got these by-elections happening. Bill Shorten says he’s looking forward to the opportunity for labour to make its case, but what the government did last night in a political budget was bring it right back to these income tax breaks.

LEIGH: Ticky, there’s two parts to the income tax changes. One is a set of tax changes to apply from the first of July this year that targets low and middle income earners, maxing out at $530 a year. Labor has said we’ll support that tranche of income tax changes. And then there’s another tranche which don’t apply until you’ve re-elected Malcolm Turnbull for two terms apparently, which we don’t even know the full cost of.

FULLERTON: No, exactly, But you’re banking on the government chopping these two policies in half, are you?

LEIGH: Well, it’s the only sensible thing to do. One set of them has bipartisan support. The other the government is yet to put figures on and don’t apply for two more elections. So let’s get the bit done that we all agree on and then let’s have a discussion about the other section.

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Australia needs a progressive tax system - Transcript, 2GB

&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2GB MONEY NEWS

WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018

SUBJECT: Budget 2018-19.

ROSS GREENWOOD, HOST: To give you his reaction, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh is always great with his time here on Money News and we appreciate it this evening Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G'day Ross, great to be with you.

GREENWOOD: I know it's busy for you between divisions. I was just going through some of my calls there about something the government put out last night as part of its budget and that is that 40 percent of Australian households, two in five, receive more in government payments than they pay in income taxes. Effectively, what the government was trying to show was that those higher paid families in particular are increasingly paying a greater burden or share of the overall personal tax in Australia. Is this something that troubles you as the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, as you have to make decisions about how to carve up the pie as you go forward?

LEIGH: Ross, sometimes the snapshot can be misleading. You want to look at what social insurance does over the course of a lifetime. It's true that only a minority of us are using the income safety net at any given time, but at different stages of our life we use it. So a young person might tap into social insurance when they're at university getting assistance, they might be unemployed at some point and use the social safety net, and then again they might get the pension at the end of their life. In between times they would be paying into the system and that's how social insurance is supposed to work. So I’m certainly not troubled by statistics of that kind, I think it is really important that in an age where we've got inequality as high as it's been in three-quarters of a century, that we do have a progressive tax system.

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No way to run a country - Transcript, Miranda Devine Live

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

MIRANDA DEVINE LIVE

WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018

SUBJECTS: Resignations of Susan Lamb, Josh Wilson and Justine Keay; Budget 2018-19; Randomistas.

MIRANDA DEVINE: I am sure that Labor is not so extreme left at all when it comes to taxes. So nevertheless the opposition of course as they should, has come out swinging against Scott Morrison's budget measures and I'm glad to say that the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh joins me on the line. Good afternoon Andrew. 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good afternoon. Great to be with you too. 

DEVINE: Now before we get onto your reaction to the budget I want to ask you about Katy Gallagher do you still support. Bill Shorten's claims all those months ago that Labor has a strict vetting process for dual citizenship candidates?

LEIGH: We certainly have a strict vetting process and it's one which I know is enormously time-consuming and expensive for many of our candidates. It was based on what the Australian Electoral Commission's candidate's handbook said which is that people needed to take reasonable steps to renounce any dual citizenship before they're nominated. Today's High Court judgment has surprised many including noted constitutional expert George Williams. So obviously it's one that we will comply with and work through. You've seen the statements to the House today from Justine Keay, Susan Lamb and Josh Wilson. But this is a surprise to many people. 

DEVINE: But still I mean Labor spent a long time criticising the coalition for its handling of its dual citizenship politicians who were caught out, but they refused. You refused to send your MPs or Senators just to the High Court. In hindsight, should Bill Shorten have agreed to cooperate with Malcolm Turnbull on the issue? 

LEIGH: Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We did indeed suggest to Malcolm Turnbull that there be a joint referral of a number of people on both sides of the House to the High Court. Malcolm Turnbull didn't accede to that. You know you've seen people from both sides of the house now fall foul to this. Barnaby Joyce, John Alexander on the other side just to name a couple. So this has been quite a surprise to many and I don't think many careful watchers of Australian politics such as you and I would have predicted five years ago that we would see a dozen or so Members of Parliament go. Indeed I heard someone saying section 44 was so named because it's eventually going to cost the careers of 44 parliamentarians if this keeps up. 

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Address to the Institute of Public Accountants Federal Budget Breakfast - Speech

ADDRESS TO THE INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS FEDERAL BUDGET BREAKFAST 

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA 

WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks Steve. It’s great to be back at this budget brekkie. I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land the Ngunnawal people and pay my respect to elders past and present.

I know many of you here in the Great Hall are Canberrans. But for those of you who aren't, welcome to the best city in Australia - as certified by the OECD. I acknowledge our hosts, the Institute of Public Accountants, Canberra Business Chamber and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. And all of you for being here to engage in this important conversation about the Australian economy. 

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The top end of town doesn't need a corporate tax cut - Transcript, CNBC Squawk Box

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

CNBC SQUAWK BOX

WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018

SUBJECT: Budget 2018-19.

MATTHEW TAYLOR: We are joined by Andrew Leigh, he is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, out here in the courtyard of Parliament House this morning. Andrew, thank you so much for joining us.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: My pleasure, Matt.

TAYLOR: Let’s just kick off on what’s happening geo-politically, because I know we were just having an interesting chat about what’s transpired with the Trump administration and Iran and the implications for Australia.

LEIGH: The IMF has upgraded its growth forecasts and they’re baked into this budget. But one of the things that this morning’s announcement by the Trump administration has illustrated is that for Australia significant global risks remain. Fragility in the Middle East is just one of those. Domestically, I worry about the fact that our household debt-to-income ratio is at an all-time high. I fear that the budget doesn’t put in place enough supports against those risks.

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Government failing to meet Budget promises - Transcript, RN Drive

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC RN DRIVE

MONDAY, 7 MAY 2018

SUBJECTS: Murray Darling Basin Plan; Budget 2018-19; Asylum seeker policy, Katy Gallagher. 

PATRICIA KARVELAS: It's going to be all about tax. Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, welcome back to RN Drive.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks, Patricia. Great to be with you.

KARVELAS: Before we get to the budget, Labor has struck a deal with the Government on the Murray Darling Basin Plan and it remains intact. What is that deal all about?

LEIGH: Well, we've determined that we won't allow an amendment to the Basin plan. That's because Tony Burke, our responsible Shadow Minister, has received sufficient assurances such as the allegations of corruption and water theft in the basin being properly dealt with, that the Government will deliver the 450 gigalitres of environmental water, and that there will be a new Northern Basin Commissioner.

KARVELAS: Okay, let's move to the budget. If we are going to see a surplus a year earlier than forecast, you'd have to hand it to the Government that that's a job well done, right?

LEIGH: This is a Government that said they would be in surplus in the first year and every year after that. As best I can tell, they've failed to meet that promise that they made before the 2013 election. What you're seeing from the Government is a budget which yet again will be great for multinationals and millionaires but not so good for schools and hospitals, not so good for Australia's pupils, not so good for those who depend on our social support system.

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Economics of the company tax cut simply don’t stack up - Transcript, Sky News Agenda

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS AM AGENDA

MONDAY, 7 MAY 2018

SUBJECTS: Budget 2018-19.

KIERAN GILBERT: With me now the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. What’s your reaction to this formalising that rule? It’s put Labor in a tough position.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Kieran, you can understand why the Government switched to talking about tax-to-GDP ratios, because when they were telling the Australian people they were going to take $17 billion out of our schools and give it to the big banks, that wasn’t very popular. But frankly, it’s the same argument.

GILBERT: How is it the same argument? In the sense that you’re going to be well over that 23.9 per cent cap which just a couple of years ago Mr Bowen said was a good idea – in fact he said lower, 23.7 per cent as a cap of tax as part of the economy. As an economist, do you recognise that you can’t let that get out of control?

LEIGH: There’s no hard economics that tells you that you need to have an arbitrary tax-to-GDP ratio. We put in place the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Australians were happy to pay a bit more tax in order to create that new social support pillar. But it’s also about how you raise the revenue. The Coalition’s tax-to-GDP ratio is effectively going to be used as their excuse for not cracking down on multinational tax loopholes and giving massive handouts to banks. It’ll be their excuse for running razor thin surpluses rather than the strong budget surpluses they were promising just a couple of years ago.

GILBERT: We don’t know yet, obviously we have to wait until we see the numbers tomorrow, but from the looks of it the revenue has been coming in very strongly the numbers a lot stronger than I think many people would have anticipated. So those razor thin surpluses might not eventuate as you warn and as Mr Bowen warns.

LEIGH: But Kieran, it’s a fundamental principal of economics that you shouldn’t make permanent decisions based on temporary changes in revenue. This is one of the real problems of the Howard Government, that they locked in unsustainable long term budget decisions based on the first wave of the mining boom.

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No excuses left on tampon tax - Op Ed, The Canberra Times

No excuses left on tampon tax

The Canberra Times, 7 May 2018

A tax on tampons and sanitary pads is a tax on women. But when our GST laws were written in 1999, they were mostly drafted by male public servants, reporting to a male-dominated cabinet, in an overwhelmingly male parliament.

As a result, tampons and pads were subject to a 10 percent GST. Yet incontinence pads, sunscreen and nicotine patches – even Viagra – are exempt from the tax.

In the nearly two decades since the GST has been in operation, this decision has come to seem stranger and stranger - and our state and territory leaders agree.

Scott Morrison’s go to excuse for his lack of action - blaming the states and territories - has all but dissolved with Labor leaders across the country backing in an axing of the tax.

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State and territory Labor leaders sign up to axe tampon tax - Media Release

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

TANYA PLIBERSEK, SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER

CATHERINE KING, SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

STATE & TERRITORY LABOR LEADERS SIGN UP TO SCRAP “TAMPON TAX”


Labor leaders in every state and territory have signed up to Federal Labor’s plan to remove the GST on women’s sanitary products.

Less than a week after it was announced, the plan has received support from the Premiers of Victoria, Queensland and WA, the Chief Ministers of the ACT and the NT, and Labor leaders in NSW, SA and Tasmania. The leaders wrote to Bill Shorten in recent days.

For the first time there is agreement from leaders in every state and territory that this unfair tax on women has to go.

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SloMo misleading on tampon tax - Media Release

TANYA PLIBERSEK, SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

SLOMO MISLEADING ON TAMPON TAX, IT’S NOT A ‘SILLY ISSUE’

Scott Morrison was his normal charming and angry self today, refusing to engage on Labor’s proposal to scrap the GST on tampons.

Time’s up on this issue. It’s not only a tax on women, but it’s a tax that shouldn’t have been applied in the first place – there is no question that sanitary products are not a luxury item.

Australian women spend around $300 million on tampons and pads each year, including around $30 million in tax.

Mr Morrison pretending to hide behind Gladys Berejiklian on this issue is ridiculous.

The Abbott and Turnbull Governments have had a number of opportunities now to make the case to states and territories that additional GST revenue will be made available while removing the unfair tax on women’s sanitary products, but have failed each and every time.

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