Bill Shorten’s big new taxes; our strong Budget for a strong economy; supporting essential services; Murray Darling Basin;
ALAN JONES: Prime Minister, good morning.
PRIME MINISTER: Good morning Alan, how are you?
JONES: We’ve lost track of where you are?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, we’re getting about, Brisbane yesterday and Melbourne today.
JONES: Good. The thing that my listeners can’t get their head around and I have to say nor can I - these are not your figures - there are Treasury figures, which are arguing that over the next 10 years the Labor party, a Labor government, would be taking from the taxpayer $387 billion?
PRIME MINISTER: That’s right.
JONES: Is this a case you’re going to prosecute?
PRIME MINISTER: Absolutely. I mean these figures are out there, $387 billion, that includes that $57 billion they are going to take for the retirees tax. It includes the more than $30 billion they are going to take in their housing tax, abolishing negative gearing as we know it and putting up capital gains tax. It’s a family business tax in there, almost $30 billion hitting small and family business around the country. Even when you go to try and put more in your superannuation to save for your future, there’s another $34 billion there.
But the bigger kicker is everyone is going to pay more income tax. Because we’re not only just reducing income tax for lower and middle income tax earners now, we’ve got to plan to reduce and get rid of bracket creep. I mean how obnoxious is bracket creep? It’s a sneaky tax. The harder you work the more tax you pay, even more.
For 94 per cent of Australians, we will make sure that is history. Bill Shorten wants to keep his sneaky bracket creep, because he can’t manage money. So he is coming after yours.
JONES: You’re talking about that, I’m still, my head still spins - and my listeners, I’ve got to say - again on $387 billion. I do not understand how someone with that as a policy is at 52 per cent in the polls. $387 billion over the next 10 years.
Now you’ve made a statement and your Treasurer has, that you’re trying benefit 13.3 million people. Because people’s eyes glaze over with all this tax and figures confuse people.
PRIME MINISTER: Sure.
JONES: But after 2025 you’re changing the tax system, such that about 13 million people will get more money by 2025? Now the figure is 3,000 bucks basically if you are on $100,000.00. Now they want to stop that?
PRIME MINISTER: Well not only that, they want to stop someone who is currently earning about $40,000 - we want to keep them on 19 cents tax rate - Labor wants to put them up to 32.5 cents.
Now it’s not just low and middle income earners, it’s all income earners. Because this is what Labor does; they don’t know how to manage money, so they come after yours, in higher taxes. This is what we’ve always seen from Labor.
This is fundamentally what this election is about; if you can’t manage money, you can’t run the country. That’s why we see deficits go up, that’s why we will see debt go up again under Labor, because they can’t manage money. If you can’t manage money, you can’t manage a health system, a school system or any of these things. So this election is all about who you trust to manage money.
JONES: See, do you think that people take for granted the sort of situation we’re in now where, you’ve sought to retire debt, you’ve sought to cut back expenditure. We had Kevin07 in 2007 exactly the same set of circumstances. They inherited a surplus and before you could say Jack Robinson, they had turned it into a massive debt.
PRIME MINISTER: Well that’s exactly it; if you vote Labor once and you pay for it for a decade.
Australians will be paying higher taxes over the next decade because of what Labor plans to do under Bill Shorten. Now it’s not just the individuals who are hit with those taxes. Of course those retirees who paid taxes all of their lives - and the most offensive thing that Bill Shorten said yesterday was when he said that they don’t pay tax! He said that is was a ‘gift’, a ‘gift’. That’s what he said to the retirees of Australia, he said he was going to take that ‘gift’ away from retiree’s right across this country. He is going to take it out to the tune of $5 billion dollars a year.
But it’s not just that Alan, you take that $387 billion, that is a deadweight on the Australian economy.
JONES: You can’t!
PRIME MINISTER: If you saddle that on the economy, that means for everyone who is running a café, everyone who walks into that café, will have less money to spend. Everyone who walks into the repair shop, will have less money to spend. Everyone who walks into any business in this country, will have less money to spend because Bill Shorten would have taken it off them.
JONES: $387 billion over ten years is extraordinary.
PRIME MINISTER: That’s right, it is. It’s a record.
JONES: It’s a record. Let’s go back to a couple of other issues. For a start, he didn’t know how long it would take to charge an electric car. Tanya Plibersek didn’t know what the problem was with carbon dioxide.
Now we had last week a complete untruth in relation to negative gearing; that the reason they’re changing negative gearing is that the top end of town are out there ripping people off and only 7 per cent of investors are investing in new housing stock. The Bureau of Statistics then says; ‘We don’t have any statistics, we don’t know where that figure has come from’. Then the housing industry says; ‘This is ridiculous, the figures are higher than that’. So apart from the fact that what they are saying is wrong - I couldn’t care about that, we know that they’re ripping off $387 billion dollars - but what about the bloke you’re talking to now, or the girl, the young person on paying rent? What is going to happen to rent when you stand negative gearing on its head?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, the same thing that happened last time. When Paul Keating got rid of it, rents went up. If credible organisations like SQM Research showing rent is going up between 10 and 22 per cent as a result of abolishing negative gearing as we know it. People’s homes - the biggest thing that most Australian’s invest in and buy into, sweat for, to pay that mortgage off - the value of your own home is what will be under threat.
JONES: Because there will be fewer buyers, there will be fewer buyers.
PRIME MINISTER: Well of course there will. And even if you buy a new property, who are you going to sell it to? 30 per cent of the market goes.
JONES: Right. But do you know anyone - you’ve been the Treasurer - do you know anyone who buys an asset of any kind hoping that it will depreciate in value? I don’t know anyone.
PRIME MINISTER: No that sounds like a Labor idea.
JONES: Absolutely; if you want a small business, buy a big business and wait.
PRIME MINISTER: That’s their small business policy, turning big businesses into small businesses.
JONES: That’s right. But everyone buys something hoping that he or she will make a capital gain and now, you know, they’ve struggled to get front and now they’re going to increase the capital gains tax by 50 per cent.
PRIME MINISTER: Yep. You know, one in five police officers - my father is a police officer, now he didn’t have an investment property - but I know, one in five police officers have an investment property. And they don’t have five or six or seven and all this rubbish that Labor goes on with - they have one. This is what they’re investing in for their future. We’ve got tens and thousands of teachers and nurses who are out there and they’re just making those investments for their future. Now the extra money they may be earning, they don’t want to give it to their union’s superannuation fund, they want to go and put it into some property and buy a little flat somewhere for their security for the future. And Bill Shorten is saying: ‘No, not for you’. This is an aspiration tax.
JONES: That’s right.
PRIME MINISTER: They’re going to tax people who are just working hard to try and get ahead. Alan that’s really what this election’s about. You we’re talking about the issue of how they got all their negative figures wrong. Well, we learned today that they are out on their health policy by $6 billion. This mob just can’t manage money.
So they can talk about health, they can talk about all these things, but they can’t pay for them.
JONES: Now I should say - I’m talking to the Prime Minister - I’ve invited Mr Shorten on a million times. We are batting for Australia here. I’m happy to ask Mr Shorten those questions, perhaps he will contradict everything Mr Morrison is saying. But Mr Shorten avoids the question and I’m suspecting he is avoiding the questions because he can’t provide the answers.
But I’ll say to you Bill Shorten; if the $387 billion dollars over ten years - as the Treasury says - you’re ripping out of the pockets of Australians, is wrong, state a figure that’s right today. Let us all know what the correct figure is.
Could I just take you to another point about the battler and the struggler? You’re talking about your old man out there having one investment property?
PRIME MINISTER: No, he didn’t but policemen, policemen though.
JONES: Policemen, right. He couldn’t afford it, but nonetheless, you’ve got two kids and at the end of the day, you say; ‘Well don’t worry, we’re not going to be here forever, you mother and I and when we die we’ll leave our house and whatever we’ve got to you.” There might be sort of $600,000 bucks to split amongst the two girls. Now Burnside, the Greens and the Unions are saying; ‘We want death duties.’ Now where the hell, does that take the economy?
PRIME MINISTER: Well it just takes it into the abyss. We heard that Richard Di Natale, the Greens Leader, saying how closely he’s going to work with the Labor Party. You can be sure that they’re going to drive them further and further on their reckless emissions reduction targets. We’ve already seen today with their vehicles emissions standards, the 105 grams per kilometer. Angus Taylors been making this point.
JONES: Oh, ‘not going to help the top end of town,’ is it? Not going to help the top end of town? [Laughter]
PRIME MINISTER: No, it’s going to give them the biggest free kick, Tesla, all these other things. I mean it’s nice and good luck to you if you’ve got one. But I’m not about to give you a big free kick for having one.
But this is what Labor is doing and the Greens will take them further Alan. What I find amazing is Labor are going to put the Greens above the Liberal Party at this next election. What that says to me, is that they support the Greens policies.
JONES: Of course they do!
PRIME MINISTER: Over the Liberal Party’s policies, they think that death duties is something that they should be backing in, above the Liberal Party
JONES: And all these independents, Kerryn Phelps and all these people are in the same boat, that woman at Warringah. They’re all in exactly the same boat.
Now look if I can just while I’ve got you here - because you are still the Prime Minister even though you’re in caretaker mode - these are disturbing stories this morning again about China and coal. The US and China trying to finalise a free trade agreement and as you know, there are now a million tonnes of coal there just sitting, going nowhere in Chinese ports. What do you know about our relationship with China - four million tonnes I’m sorry - what do you know about our relationship with China in relation to them continuing to import Australian coal, rather than Columbian and American coal?
PRIME MINISTER: Well we continue to have a positive relationship and we’re managing those issues carefully. We still are exporting incredibly large volumes of coal to China, but I do know this; the biggest threat to people who work in our traditional industries in the mining industry, in the forestry industry, the biggest threat to all of them is Bill Shorten.
JONES: Yes quite, this election [inaudible].
PRIME MINISTER: Exactly. I mean if you’re working at Gladstone, up there at the Port Island smelter, or the Tomago smelter or the Portland smelter, the biggest threat to your job isn’t outside of this country, it’s right inside this country.
JONES: There’s no doubt about that.
PRIME MINISTER: It’s the Labor Party. There are 55,000 people.
JONES: I was with you at the races on Saturday for about 5 minutes and there were all these people were talking about that issue; about electricity costs, the cost for businesses and so on. But just come back to one thing; has anyone told you, in the public sector or wherever you’re getting your advice on Foreign Affairs, why our ships are still outside Chinese ports, unable to unload their coal?
PRIME MINISTER: Well it’s not the first time its happened, that’s one of the things they’re telling us. We often have had these issues in the past. I mean China is a very big country and sometimes the assumption is made that all these things are joined up. But just work the problem in the area where we have it at particular ports and that’s what our officials are doing.
JONES: Do you think though, this is a payback for the decision to exclude the Chinese technology company Huawei from the rollout of Australia’s 5G mobile network?
PRIME MINISTER: Well I can only sort of go off what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have said. They’re saying it’s not.
JONES: Well the China Daily is saying that you were irresponsible when you alluded to Beijing being behind the cyber-attack on the Australian Parliament. I mean surely -
PRIME MINISTER: Well, I didn’t do that. First of all I didn’t do that and secondly, I mean Australia will always take decisions in our national security interest and put Australia first. That’s what we will always do and I make no apology for that. That’s what people expect of our Prime Minister and that’s exactly what I’ve done
JONES: Ok, just one other thing before we go. You’ve got to hang on to seats and win six, basically. West of the great dividing range it’s difficult, there were 20 per cent swings against the National Party and they have come to me and are writing to me and are saying; ‘No one in the National Party is listening to them’. Farmers are struggling through the worst drought in living memory and there was the National Party in your government making announcements last week about environmental flows, more environmental flows in the Murray Darling with farmers being denied water. Is someone talking to these farmers? Because apparently the National Party aren’t, McCormack isn’t, they’re not talking to these people about water. Seats like Farrer for example are at risk because of this. What can you say to farmers about the water they are paying for and not getting?
PRIME MINISTER: Well Alan, I just met with a whole group of farmers from down the Murray, just in that last week of Parliament. We had a good work through all those issues and I know Sussan Ley is doing exactly that out in places like Deniliquin, where I know what these issues are. There are no simple solutions here and that’s one of the conversations we had. I think farmers understand that this is a complicated issue and we’re going to continue to work with them and listen to them and try to get the right outcome but -
JONES: But see you announced $25 million to update meters in the Northern Basin. Now this is so that we can spy on the poor bloody farmer who wants water? I’m wanting you to say that you are going to have to talk to somebody about this in terms of the water that they need to put food on our table.
PRIME MINISTER: Look I understand Alan and what I’m saying is, I think farmers understand, right across the country, not just in NSW but all those through the Basin - I mean you’ve got water running in the Murray and you haven’t got it running in the Darling. There are needs that go all across the Basin.
JONES: Yeah but I’m asking for the farmers, about environmental flows.
PRIME MINISTER: Well if there is no water flowing, there’s no water flowing. I know that people are really hurting on drought. We know that, I’ve been out there, I’ve spoken to them. I know that Is the case.
JONES: Ok, you go, I’ll go, we’ll talk next week. We are beaten by the news.
PRIME MINISTER: Righto Alan.
JONES: Alright Prime Minister, thank you for your time.