Contradictions of the Labor Party
Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (16:00): Here we go again, trying to work with the nonsense being proposed by those opposite. They are a real puzzle. They know that what they say is on the permanent record, but they contradict themselves every day of the week. It seems every day they come in here with a different position to what they said maybe just a few years ago or even a few months ago. It absolutely beggars belief. We are doing our best to work with them—we are; they have, after all, been elected to their posts—but it is so very hard when they cannot make up their minds.
The member for Lilley, who has been off this week, so badly wanted company tax cuts. He said he would fight tooth and nail to get it through when he was Treasurer, but now he does not. He says it is trickle-down economics and he is like the godfather amongst his base. His mate the member for McMahon said:
It’s a Labor thing to have the ambition of reducing company tax …
Well, not anymore. He is so out of touch, or he contradicts himself so often, that he just cannot bear to say that anymore. On the Fair Work Commission, the Leader of the Opposition was clear. He said to support the decision of the independent umpire. That is what he said—isn’t that right, the member for Banks?
Mr Coleman: Absolutely.
Mr HOWARTH: Well, that was until the independent umpire actually made a decision. When they made a decision, you did not like it. That is the Leader of the Opposition. The previous Labor government said they were committed to educational outcomes. ‘We are committed to educational outcomes.’ What happened to that stance? It is a Gonski. The NDIS—they were committed to funding it. That is gone as well. Every single member opposite says it is a tax increase—that we are applying a tax increase by wanting to properly fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme. They came in here, the member for Griffith—and she has gone now—and those opposite, saying, ‘Multinational tax avoidance is a big issue.’ I cannot blame the member for Lindsay, she was not here, but, before the last election, they voted against it. Every single one of them over on that side of the House voted against it. That is what they did. I could stand here all day and bang on. They have done enough backflips to earn a spot on the Australian gymnastics team—heaven forbid.
Now they are going to have a crack at us for the way we are managing our way out of their deficits, which are the result of poor economic management and a decade of reckless spending. That is the legacy of recent Labor governments. It is shameful. How do they want us to tidy up their mess? The public, the people in our seats, want us to work together. We are not even at 12 months since the last election. They want us to work together, but those opposite are too busy playing politics. They cannot conceive a way to progress the nation other than putting their hand in the pocket of hardworking Australians. You have to hand it to the member for McMahon. ‘Millionaires are getting a tax cut,’ he says in here. But what the member for McMahon fails to mention is that someone earning $1 million in this country, even with no deficit levy—which is currently in place and comes off in a couple of days—will pay $443,000 in tax. That is what they pay. Wake up, you guys opposite.
Ms Claydon interjecting—
Mr HOWARTH: ‘Fancy accountants,’ says the member for Newcastle. Okay, let us give them a $50,000 tax deduction because they are negatively geared. On $950,000 they pay $419,500 in tax, and these guys want to up it. They want to keep it up permanently. They want to destroy any hope that Australians have to make a better life for themselves. They want to keep them down. They want to feed them. They want to hand over the cash and keep them down. If you are an Australian and you want to be a school principal, you have no hope with this mob; they want to keep you down. If you are a young woman and you want to be a psychologist and earn $235,000 a year, they want to take your money. That is what they want to do. And the members for Hindmarsh and Dobell and Gellibrand, every single one of them, do not want to properly fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme. I will tell you what: if people earned $25,000 a year, they would be happy, in most cases, to pay $125 to properly fund it. Wake up! You are out of touch.