5 January 2019
Transcript - #2019001, 2019

Doorstop interview, Lorne, Victoria

Subjects: Labor’s capital gains tax; and women in the Liberal Party.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

At the next election the choice will be clear between a Government which has reduced taxes, and reduced spending, and created more than 1.2 million new jobs and an opposition that is promising more than $200 billion in new taxes.

That's equivalent to around $10,000 of new taxes on every Australian man, woman and child. New taxes on your property, new taxes on your income, new taxes on your business, new taxes on your savings and new taxes on your electricity bill.

But while the focus to date has largely been around Labor's proposed new taxes on negative gearing and their retirees tax, what has gone under the radar is their proposed increase, by 50 per cent, to capital gains tax.

This will see Australians, under Labor, pay more for their capital gains. Under Labor, Australians will pay higher tax rates than they do in the socialist paradise of Venezuela. Under Labor, Australians will pay higher tax rates than they do in the United States. Under Labor, Australians will pay higher tax rates than they do in the United Kingdom, and in Canada, and in New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, France, Germany and Japan.

But what is more, Australians will be hit by Labor's $200 billion of new taxes and a 50 per cent increase in the capital gains tax will hurt the economy. The independent Centre for International Economics has found that Labor's tax hike on capital gains will see a $3.7 billion hit to GDP growth each year, it will see real wages fall by 0.7 per cent equivalent to around $600 a year for someone on average full-time earnings.

We'll see 3,000 fewer dwellings being built and therefore rents will increase under Labor's policy. And the states will also see their revenues hit by Labor's new taxes; lower GST receipts and lower property tax receipts.

Labor is not only putting this big new capital gains tax on Australians, but it's hurting those who aspire for a better life, those who save, those who take personal responsibility for their own retirement.

Labor, as Paul Keating has said in the past, has given up on the aspirational class. It's only the Coalition which will deliver lower taxes and a stronger Australian economy.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, Labor say that the current rate is unsustainable and only benefits the top end of town, what do you say about that?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, Labor made the same point about negative gearing. But it was pointed out that around two-thirds of those who are getting a tax deduction had a taxable income of under $80,000, including 58,000 teachers, 41,000 nurses, 20,000 police and emergency service personnel.

You see, it doesn't matter where you are on the income ladder, what you are hit by Labor is through a higher tax, a 50 per cent increase to capital gains tax. This is a tax on those people who save and invest and take personal responsibility for their own retirement.

What is more, Labor is walking back from more than two decades of a bipartisan approach to capital gains tax. In fact, when these changes were introduced by the Howard Government in 1999, Labor members spoke enthusiastically about this change and supported it through the Parliament.

Only now, because there is a desperate grab for cash to fund their reckless spending promises, is Labor promising this 50 per cent increase in capital gains tax.

JOURNALIST:

Doug Cameron has labelled this a scare campaign. Your response?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, Doug Cameron has a lot to explain for the Mediscare campaign. What we are doing is focusing on the true impact of Labor's higher taxes on the Australian economy. What we are doing is reminding the Australian people that the Labor Party cannot be trusted with the economy.

Because they can't manage money, the Labor Party will come after yours. They're coming after Australians' hard earned savings, they're coming after Australians' hard earned investments, they're coming after Australian businesses and Australians' hard earned income.

The Labor Party need to fund their reckless spending promises and under Labor, Australians will pay higher tax rates than they do in the socialist paradise of Venezuela.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, Jonathon Lee here from Channel 10, just on the issue Chris Richardson the economist, spoke to me about the issue today and he said he doesn't know whether it's a good policy or a bad policy, it's not big enough to make a difference. What's your response to that?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, Labor on their own costings are ripping out $12 billion out of the hands of working Australians. This is a significant amount of money. But what's more, it's going to punish those aspirational Australians who save for their future.

So, the Labor Party has given up on aspiration, given up on working Australians, given up on those people who save. In fact, it's made a target for those Australians who save for their retirement.

JOURNALIST:

Okay thank you. We're just going to shift onto gender quotas now, Treasurer. Do you agree with Marise Payne, obviously the most senior woman in the Government, that quotas should be part of the debate?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well look, there's been lots of voices on this issue in recent days. I'm not going to add to it other than to say that the Coalition has many distinguished and accomplished women among its ranks and the Coalition has delivered more for Australian women than the Labor Party.

In fact, there are now more women in the workforce than ever before. We have created more than 1.2 million new jobs; over half of them which have gone to women. In fact, the gender pay gap has been shrunk under the Coalition, whereas a widened under the Labor Party.

When you look at our policies on domestic violence, we've committed more than $300 million to support those who are most in need. Our Paid Parental Leave policies are giving more flexibility to women, so too with superannuation and so to with the commitment that we've made to childcare, which wasn't supported by the Labor Party.

If you are a two-income household earning around $80,000 a year with two kids in childcare under the age of six, you'll be up to $8,000 a year better off under the Coalition policies.

We are putting in place better policy than the Labor Party when it comes to childcare, when it comes to superannuation, when it comes to Paid Parental Leave, when it comes to domestic violence. And we have the record to prove it, that on our watch, more women are in the workforce than they were ever under Labor.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, why won't you be drawn into the discussion on quotas? Why would you not want to back up the most senior woman in your party?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

My focus is on delivering policies for all Australians and what we have delivered are a suite of policies that particularly are going to help Australian women. Not to mention, the many drugs that we have listed on the PBS, through having a strong economy, cancer drugs, and other drugs that are helping people across our community including of course many women specifically as well.

This is the economic dividend from having a strong economy. Having a strong economy is not an end in itself. It's merely a means to provide a better life for all Australians. That is why the Coalition believes in lower taxes, lower spending and a stronger economy creating more jobs for all Australians.

JOURNALIST:

Can I ask Treasurer, do you agree with Senator Abetz's comments this morning that quota would be undemocratic?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Look, I am not going to add to the voices that have already been out there on these issues.

JOURNALIST:

[inaudible]… democratic or not, I mean, you are the Treasurer, the Deputy Leader of the Party, is it undemocratic?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well what I will say to you is, I'm very proud of what the Liberal Party has achieved for Australian women and within our ranks we have many accomplished and distinguished women and at the next election we will have women fighting in seats that we must win, like Gladys Liu in Chisholm, like in McNamara the old seat of Melbourne Ports – Kate Ashmore, in a series of other seats that we must win at the next election, we have women of distinction.

And of course, within our parliamentary ranks, we've heard from Sarah Henderson, a former journalist, we've heard from Linda Reynolds, a former senior member of the Australian Defence Force, Jane Hume, a former senior person in financial services.

There are many people on our side of the fence who work in agriculture like Nola Marino, worked in financial services, and worked across the board and they have brought that expertise to the Parliament and that is why we are helping Australian women through what we have delivered with a stronger economy.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, Jen here, just want to go back to housing quickly, can you rule out making any reforms to negative gearing and capital gains tax in the next election?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

We have no plans to change the taxation arrangements around negative gearing and capital gains. That is what the Labor Party do. That is why there is a clear distinction at the next election because for once…

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible]… mandate for absolute change to capital gains tax and negative gearing?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

What I am saying to you is, we'll be going to the Australian people explaining that there will be a clear distinction between Labor Party, which is proposing $200 billion of higher taxes – that's equivalent to around $10,000 of new taxes for every Australian man, woman and child. That's what the Labor Party's promising.

The Labor Party can't manage money, that's why they're coming after yours. That's why they have plans for higher taxes on your income, on your business, on your property, on your electricity bill and of course on your retirement savings.

The Liberal Party on the other hand, and the National Party, we're cutting taxes. We've just passed legislation through the Parliament to cut taxes for more than three million small and medium-sized enterprises, employing some seven million people, we've cut income taxes and we'll continue to reduce tax because that's drives economic growth.

JOURNALIST:

When will the election be?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

The election will be later this year. But as you know, I've got a Budget to deliver on April the 2nd and the election will be after that.

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible].

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

The Liberal and National Party has delivered for Australian women better childcare policy, better Paid Parental Leave policy, better policies around domestic violence, better policies around employment and better policies around superannuation, and better health policies that are seeing a record number of 2,000 new drugs being lists on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

This is what you get from good government. This is what you get from a strong economy. This is what matters to Australians, whether they're male or female. The policies that we have delivered are creating a stronger community, a stronger society and a stronger economy.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, thank you, we appreciate your time.