15 February 2017
Transcript - #2017003, 2017

Interview with The Project, Network 10

SUBJECTS: Tax; negative gearing

CARRIE BICKMORE:

Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer joins us now. Kelly, for all the mums and dads out there who are struggling at the moment, what is the likelihood of the tax increases?

KELLY O'DWYER:

We don't actually want to be raising taxes and that's the whole point the treasurer has made. He said he that we need to live within our means because otherwise we're going to force that burden onto future generations. And so we need to be very realistic about where we are at the moment and we need to be responsible. And that's really the main point that he was trying to make.

RACHEL CORBETT:

So, Kelly, unless we crack down on young unemployed people, then the other option is we just have to pay higher tax?

KELLY O'DWYER:

No, that is not what is being said. We have to look at the whole thing, the whole economy. We have to look at the taxes more broadly. So I understand that the best thing that we can do is make sure that everyone who should be paying tax is in fact paying tax. Now, that includes big multi-national companies and we have introduced as a government the toughest laws internationally to make sure that they pay the right amount of tax. And we're going to see a number of court cases coming up as a result of our legislation making sure that the Australian taxpayer isn't dudded, they get the money that is owed to them so that we can spend it on services and infrastructure that is needed.

WALEED ALY:

I think one of the points though, Kelly, is that there are a lot of options that were once on the table that are no longer on the table that would raise money that hit people who are not struggling. Negative gearing, capital gains concessions, for example, that's always brought up because that would be something that affects wealthier people rather than people who are struggling. Why does your government consistently write off those sorts of ideas?

KELLY O'DWYER:

I suppose it's because, Waleed, when you examine the facts on negative gearing, there are about 1.3 million Australians who negatively gear and two-thirds of those Australians are on a taxable income of $80,000 or less. They're people like policeman, nurses, emergency service workers, so this myth that somehow everyone who is negatively gearing is really, really wealthy is not correct. But you are right to say that the government needs to crack down on people who perhaps should be doing more at sharing the burden, and that's why we made some very extensive changes to our superannuation laws so that people couldn't simply dip out of the taxation system when they hit 60, forcing, increasingly, the younger generations to pick up the slack.

PETER HELLIAR:

Kelly it's your first time on The Project, what took you so long?

KELLY O'DWYER:

I was waiting for an invitation. I am now no longer a The Project virgin so I look forward to coming back again.

WALEED ALY:

Are you going to come on every night? So any day we need to speak to someone from the government, will you come again?

KELLY O'DWYER:

I am absolutely at your service.

PETER HELLIAR:

The Defence Minister might have something to say about that.

CARRIE BICKMORE:

Well it's been a pleasure having you on, virgin. Thanks so much for your time.

KELLY O'DWYER:

See you later.