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The Turnbull Government needs to break up with multinational tax dodgers - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

WEDNESDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2018

SUBJECT/S: Valentine’s Day in Canberra; Turnbull Government’s love for millionaires and multinationals.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, everyone. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and the Federal Member for Fenner. And as a Canberra representative, can I just wish all of you happy Valentine’s Day and acknowledge that there really is no more romantic city in Australia than Canberra. When the kangaroos are jumping, the kookaburras are singing, the restaurants are open and you’ve got weather like today, you reflect to yourself what a gorgeous, romantic city this is.

But on a less lovely note, we’ve had reports today that a fifth of Australia’s biggest companies paid zero tax for at least three years. Now I admit multinational tax dodging might not be the most romantic topic in the world, but it’s pretty important. This report suggests that some big Australian companies haven’t paid tax for up to a decade. And yet the Turnbull Government’s top priority is a $65 billion company tax cut.

The Turnbull Government needs to break up with multinational tax dodgers and fall in love with ordinary Australians. They need to stand on the side of ordinary Australians who don’t want to see their income taxes go up, rather than protecting large multinational corporations and millionaires, the only people getting a tax cut under the Turnbull Government.

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Labor Has No Love for Tax Avoiders this Valentine's Day - Media Release

LABOR HAS NO LOVE FOR TAX AVOIDERS THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

One in five of Australia’s biggest companies have paid no tax for at least the past three years, but Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison’s priority still remains giving a $65 billion tax cut to big business.

Today’s report should be cause for heartbreak in the Turnbull Government, but Mr Morrison remains infatuated with tax-dodging multinationals.

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Light rail ready to leave the station - Speech, Federation Chamber

SPEECH - FEDERATION CHAMBER

TUESDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2018

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is thousands of hardworking Canberrans may soon have a quick and easy way to get to work.

But the bad news is the coalition is trying to stop it. I'm afraid Liberal Senator Zed Seselja is trying his best to hold up investment in public transport and light rail in Canberra.

We know a majority of Canberrans don't agree with it. In fact, the people of this city went to an election on this issue; actually, they went to two elections on this issue.

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Bounding Plains to Share - Speech, Federation Chamber

SPEECH - FEDERATION CHAMBER

MONDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2018

For the last 10 weeks, Canberrans Jackson Bursill and Cassie Cohen have been pounding the pavements down our vast and varied east coast.

Jackson and Cassie's Bounding Plains to Share project will take them from Cooktown to Melbourne. They will run 4,000 kilometres in 100 days, with each day marked by local stories of refugees who have enriched Australia after fleeing persecution and conflict overseas.

Bounding Plains to Share celebrates people who've made our country a better place, very much in the spirit of the Welcome to Australia movement.

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Closing the Gap essential to who we are as a nation: Transcript, Sky News Agenda

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS AM AGENDA

MONDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2018

SUBJECTS: Closing the Gap report card, Labor’s compensation scheme promise, Barnaby Joyce, company tax cuts.

KIERAN GILBERT: With me on the program now, Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. If we start where we concluded with Simon Birmingham in relation to the company tax cuts. Major businesses - Andrew Mackenzie the chief executive of BHP saying that if tax cuts flow, investment will also flow. And if you don’t, he says there are questions raised as to whether companies like his – the largest miner in the world – will choose to continue to make new investments in countries like ours.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Kieran, let’s start with what the Government says the benefit is to households would be of their company tax cut. They say that if you cut company taxes and fund it by raising income taxes on middle income Australia, household income grows by 0.1 per cent in the 2030s. If you put that in practical terms, that means you get one extra month of household income growth in the 2030s-

GILBERT: Why did Labor support company tax cuts previously then? Is it a road to Damascus conversion?

LEIGH: We were doing that in a context in which we were closing loopholes, Kieran-

GILBERT: You saw benefits, though, previously?

LEIGH: Good tax reform involves broadening the base and lowering the rate. This is simply rate lowering at the expense of middle income Australians. The Liberals’ own modelling is saying it’s delivering an extra month’s household income growth in the 2030s. At a time when debt’s just passed a half a trillion dollar mark, it doesn’t seem like a great use of tax payer money to me.

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A kinder politics - Speech, House of Representatives

SPEECH - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

THURSDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2018

This has been one of the most emotional weeks that I've seen in politics in my 7½ years in this place, a tough week for people on both sides of the House, where the personal has melted into the political, when private lives have been splashed across the front page and pulled apart in this very chamber.

The incredibly brave member for Longman was yesterday forced to relive one of the hardest experiences of her life: the moment when, as a six-year-old, her mother dropped off her school and never came back to pick her up. Her gracious speech, given in the face of intense scrutiny, her capiacity for forgiveness instead of hatred, is what we should strive for as politicians.

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The Liberals' war on charities - Speech, House of Representatives

THE LIBERALS’ WAR ON CHARITIES

SPEECH – MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

THURSDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2018

On Monday, Senator Louise Pratt, Labor colleagues and I met with dozens of charities concerned about the latest salvo in the Liberals’ war on charities. They included the Australian Council for International Development, CHOICE, Red Cross, Oxfam, CARE Australia, the Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Counselling Australia, ACOSS, World Vision, RESULTS Australia and Pew Charitable Trusts. There is bipartisan support for banning foreign political donations. Indeed, it's been a year since the Leader of the Opposition introduced a private member's bill that would do just that. But banning donations to political parties should not entail cutting down free speech.

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The Treasurer's 10 greatest muck ups - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

WEDNESDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2018

Dr LEIGH (Fenner) (17:13):  I move:

That all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

'whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:

(1) is of the opinion that with Government debt soaring ever higher, it’s time the Turnbull Government abandoned its plan to give big business a multi-billion tax cut;

(2) notes that the Government is debating legislative fixes that are a result of its slapdash approach to policy making; and

(3) calls on the Government to commit to a post-implementation review of this measure'.

Labor will support the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan Base Rate Entities) Bill 2017, but we will not do so without calling the attention of this House to the Treasurer's litany of mistakes.

Just over 21 years ago, English Premier League side Southampton fielded a substitute player, Ali Dia, who had just arrived at the injury-depleted side with virtually unknown footballing credentials. In a match Southampton lost 2-0, Dia himself was substituted after a shocking performance and released from his contract within two weeks.

As it turned out, he'd bluffed his way into the job by getting a university friend to impersonate Ballon d'Or winner George Weah in a phone call to manager Graeme Souness to extol the player's skills. Souness's misplaced faith was mocked for decades to come. The player whom Dia replaced, Matt Le Tissier, spoke of the new substitute's performance in the following terms: 'He ran around the pitch like Bambi on ice. It was very, very embarrassing to watch.' Souness defended the decision on the basis that his playing stocks were depleted, but nonetheless confessed that the experience was 'a kick in the bollocks'.

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Treasurer patches up his own patch-up - Media Release

TREASURER PATCHES UP HIS OWN PATCH-UP

Another day, another muck up by Scott Morrison.

Since its announcement, Labor has supported cutting taxes for businesses with a turnover below $2 million.

However, as early as September 2016, tax experts have warned that the actual legislation itself was unclear about whether or not bucket companies earning so-called passive income would be eligible for this tax cut.

The Turnbull Government initially denied that there was a problem, then after more than a year, they admitted that their legislation was faulty, and introduced a bill to fix it.

We were assured that this would be the end of it. But today, we will see the Turnbull Government patching up their patch-up. They have to amend their own amending bill, admitting - yet again – that they can't get the basics right.

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Another damning indictment of Morrison’s management - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

WEDNESDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2018

SUBJECTS: Productivity Commission’s draft report on Competition in the Australian Financial System; Turnbull Government’s latest fumble on tax policy: PC endorses more transparency for the Council of Financial Regulators; Barnaby Joyce; share market volatility.

CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER: Well good morning everybody, thanks for coming.

This morning, yet another damning indictment of Scott Morrison’s management of negative gearing in the housing market.

Today we see the release of the Productivity Commission’s draft report into banking competition. Now of course competition in banking and financial services is vital and we said that the Productivity Commission should be commissioned to undertake this review. But what has the Productivity Commission found?

Let us remember that Scott Morrison has for months been saying the answer to Australia’s housing affordability problems is to leave all the heavy lifting to the regulators, to leave all the heavy lifting to APRA, who would engage in macro-prudential regulation and that would fix everything. He told us there was no need to fix negative gearing. He told us that as recently as yesterday.

The Productivity Commission report has found that because Scott Morrison has left the heavy lifting to the regulators, to APRA, that in fact banks have increased their profit margins and that has been subsidised by the tax payer due to negative gearing.

The Productivity Commission has said that this has led to a windfall for the banks. Their words, ‘a windfall; for the banks. And half of that windfall has been subsidised by the Australian tax payer through negative gearing. Now we’ve said all along that negative gearing must be fixed. Evidence mounts day after day for months now, that negative gearing has to be fixed. It appears that Scott Morrison is the only person who doesn’t want to fix negative gearing. Cabinet, of course rolled him when he dared even suggest it be considered.

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