21 July 2017
Media Release - #2017069, 2017

In the role of: Minister for Revenue and Financial Services [19 July 2016 - 28 August 2018]

Bill Shorten’s tax on everything

In an unprecedented and irresponsible move, Mr Shorten has said that a Labor Government would increase tax and take an axe to a broad range of tax concessions.

But when questioned directly about his planned tax increases, Mr Shorten refused to go into specifics. This is unacceptable. He must immediately reveal his tax hit list.

For starters, Labor must immediately clarify whether it wants to get rid of the following tax expenditures:

  1. CGT exemption on the family home
  2. GST exemption for health, education, childcare, water, sewerage and drainage
  3. Medicare levy exemption for Defence Force personnel
  4. Medicare levy exemption for blind pensioners
  5. Medicare levy exemption for low income earners
  6. Income tax exemption for NDIS benefits
  7. Income tax exemption for disaster relief payments
  8. Income tax exemption for the Private Health Insurance rebate
  9. The seniors and pensioners tax offset
  10. Income averaging for authors and performing artists

Mr Shorten’s speech is short on making the policy case against particular tax concessions.

How will taxing the family home help young people? How will a GST on health and education help those needing medical care or learning a skill or trade? Why must our defence forces forgo their exemption from the Medicare levy? How will hitting NDIS beneficiaries for tax improve inequality?

Mr Shorten’s claim that inequality in Australia is at a 75-year high has been described as “patently false” by Professor Roger Wilkins, of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.

The Opposition Leader is using dodgy analysis to justify a tax grab.

Mr Shorten’s tax hit list comes on top of Labor’s campaign to permanently raise Australia’s already high income tax rates. Labor has signalled that wage earners on modest incomes are “millionaires” to be hit up for more tax. Mr Shorten seems to be totally unaware that already the top 5 per cent of tax payers are paying a third of all income tax in the country, and the top 50 percent are paying almost 90 percent.

Under a Shorten Government why would you bother working where every second day you work for the Government.

Mr Shorten has refused to tell the Australian people that his blitzkrieg against these tax concessions will reduce the after‑tax wages of millions of Australians on lower incomes.

This all fits with Labor’s crazy attraction to more taxes and more spending, driven by the old politics of resentment, jealously and envy – a stale economic recipe that weakens jobs and economic security and threatens our future prosperity. A Shorten Government would have one hand in your pocket and one hand in the till.

I call on Mr Shorten to come clean on Labor’s irresponsible tax hit list.