2 July 2019
Transcript - #2019090, 2019

Interview with David Koch, Sunrise, Channel 7

Subjects: Tax cuts, interest rate cuts

DAVID KOCH:

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg joins me now. Treasurer, good morning to you.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Good morning Kochie.

DAVID KOCH:

Now, the Government needs the backing of four to six crossbenchers to pass the package without Labor's support. Can you pull it off? What are you hearing from the crossbenchers?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, we're engaged in very constructive dialogue with them. They know the importance of this legislation to the Australian economy, both with the short-term relief that you referred with income earners getting up to $1,080, but also the long-term structural reform which will see 94 per cent of all taxpayers pay a marginal rate of no more than 30 cents in the dollar. We were very upfront, Kochie, with the Australian people. This was in our Budget, this was a key plank of our election campaign and Labor, on the other hand, were going to the Australian people with a very high taxing agenda. $387 billion of higher taxes which was rejected by the Australian people. So it's a bit rich for them now to try and block the will of the Australian people.

DAVID KOCH:

Okay, how much will you have to give up to get some of the crossbenchers across on this? Centre Alliance want to do a gas deal for your support, playing politics with our tax cuts.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well look, I'm not going to go into the details of those discussions, other than to say they've been very constructive and we are confident that we can land this tax package this week and the Parliament will sit until it passes. It's absolutely vital to the Australian economy that this goes through, and Labor seems to have learnt nothing from their election loss and Anthony Albanese has heard nothing on his listening tour.

DAVID KOCH:

So, you'll keep Parliament going until you it through? It's a bit like detention for them. Either pass it or you're not allowed to go home.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, absolutely this is the focus for us. It's our number one priority and we've heard from the Reserve Bank Governor, the importance of getting these tax cuts into people's pockets to boost household consumption and that's going to be important for the overall economy's health.

DAVID KOCH:

Okay, speaking of the Reserve Bank. Looks as though it could be another interest rate cut this afternoon. What do you say to the banks? Because the average home loan cut was just 0.21 of a per cent, below the quarter per cent cut last month, but the cuts to savers was more than a quarter per cent. So, the banks complain that we don't like them but doing that, it's no wonder.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well it is fair to say that the Australian people are fed up with their banks. They have seen a reduction in their own funding costs and there is an expectation on behalf of their customers that they would pass on in full to them the benefits of these sustained reduction in funding costs. Now let's face it, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the National Australia Bank both moved and passed on that rate cut in full. ANZ was extremely disappointing and so too was Westpac in not passing that on in full. Let's see what they do if there is another cut.

DAVID KOCH:

But then online savings accounts, they passed on a 0.4 per cent cut. Would you believe if you have your money in an online saving account the average return you get is a 0.85 per cent? That's below the inflation rate, that's ridiculous.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, as you know, it varies from bank to bank but this is something the banks have to explain to their customers and people need to be encouraged to shop around to get the best possible deal, but it was a bit rich of the ANZ bank to say that they were trying to protect their depositors but not reducing their rates in full, following the last move by the Reserve Bank. So, we do expect better from our banks.

DAVID KOCH:

Yeah, absolute crap. Thanks for clearing that up.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, they're your words. I can tell you, behind closed doors, I made my views very clearly heard.

DAVID KOCH:

Good. Okay, Treasurer, thank you for joining us.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Thank you