THURSDAY, 4 JULY 2019
SUBJECTS: Tax Cuts, Crossbench deals
STEPHEN JONES MP: It's not too late for the crossbench Senators to reconsider their position on these unfunded tax cuts. The crossbench Senators themselves have acknowledged the economy is in strife at the very least. They should be considering Labor's policy to bring forward Stage Two of the tax cuts to boost economic growth.
The economy is in serious trouble. Flat wages growth, unemployment flat lining, flat economic growth. We need the Government to do its bit when it fiscal stimulus. Infrastructure spending is important, but we know that we need more than that. So we're calling on the crossbench Senators to reconsider their position, at the very least bring forward those Stage Two tax cuts to give the much-needed injection of cash into the economy.
If this bill does go through this evening, it puts a $95 billion hole in the budget. That means it is going to be harder for the Government to deal with deeming rates.
I note that Senator Lambie from Tasmania is concerned about housing and homelessness in Tasmania. Well we're concerned about that as well and when you rip $95 billion out of the Commonwealth budget, it’s harder for the Commonwealth to deal with housing and homelessness across the country as a whole.
$95 billion: That's three and a half times what we spend on Medicare and we already know that Medicare is under pressure. That's nine times what we spend on medicines in this country and we already know that there are people trying to get access to subsidised medicines, that can't.
We know that this puts enormous pressure on our ability to fund aged care. We know that there are over 110,000 people who have already been assessed as needing high-level aged care packages, but they can't get access to one because the funds simply aren’t there.
There's plenty of reasons to vote against this unfunded $95 billion tax cut. We're calling on the crossbench Senators and the Government to revisit their reckless plan.
The Government needs to bring forward those second phase tax cuts to ensure that we have the much-needed fiscal stimulus. The crossbench needs to ensure that they are getting much more than for their vote because from what I can see there's not much in it today.