Doorstop with the Member for Cowper, Hon. Luke Hartsuyker MP - Port Macquarie - 21 March 2018

March 21, 2018

Wednesday, 21 March, 2018

SUBJECTS: Retiree tax; Industrial Relations; High Court; Company tax cuts



Well, I’m delighted to have the Prime Minister here at Port Macquarie today, to discuss the very important issue with regard to the threat that Labor poses to the retirement incomes of so many Australians. Australians who have saved hard for their retirement. Who have made plans, many of whom who lived very frugally on their savings.

Bill Shorten is undertaking, if elected to government, to have attack those Australians. It is a policy that will hit not high income earners, it will hit hardest the low income earners who depend on franking credits for their income.

So Prime Minister, delighted to have you here today. We’ve had a very informative forum where we met with a range of self-funded retirees and pensioners. Great to see you in Port Macquarie.


Thanks Luke, it’s great to be here and you know we’ve come here to meet the people that Bill Shorten wants to rob. We’ve met the people who have saved all their lives. They’ve invested in Australian shares and they’ve been getting the benefit of those franking credits .

Bill Shorten wants to take it away from them. He says he’s going after multimillionaires. Well, there was one gentleman and his wife who were there, in their late 80’s; it’s going to cost them $3,500 a year. That’s a lot of money for them. They’ve managed their affairs frugally. They’ve saved over many years so that they can be financially independent and have a dignified retirement.

Shorten is going to take that $3500 off them.

It’s taxed, it’s tax that was paid by the company, why shouldn’t they not get it back? They’re on a very low income, he wants to take that away from them.

Do you know what they said they’d have to do? Cancel their private health insurance.

So that is what he is going to do; he is going to get older couples -overwhelmingly people over 65, overwhelmingly people on low incomes. 230,000 of them on the pension alone - these are the people that Bill Shorten wants to rob.

He wants to take the money out of their pockets, reduce their incomes by between 15 and 20 per cent, based on the people we spoke to today.

What Mr Shorten needs to understand is, Australia's self-funded retirees, who are managing their affairs very carefully, they want to live their lives as independently as possible, so that they are not making any more claim on the pension than they need to. They’re managing their affairs as carefully as possible.

He is disrespecting them.

He is picking their pockets.

This is a cash grab of older Australians, on Australians on lower incomes, on vulnerable Australians. Cutting their incomes at a time when perhaps more than at any time in their lives, every penny counts. Cutting their incomes by 15 per cent, 20 per cent and no doubt more.

Bill Shorten has gone after the Australians who built this country, who should be respected and honoured and supported.

He is going after them with this tax grab. It’s part of a $200 billion tax grab.

This is a guy who wants to increase taxes, run up debt and increase spending. The people who are going to pay for it, are the people who can least afford to do so. It’s a disgrace. No wonder Australians right around the country, in Port Macquarie and right around the country, are horrified by his cynical effort to pick their pockets, to go after the savings of our older Australians.


Prime Minister firstly, the head of the ACTU Sally McManus just made a speech and she said Australian workers are ruled by laws which have destroyed jobs and left us struggling to pay the bills. Is that a fair comment?


Well, Sally McManus doesn't believe in obeying the law. This is the face of ‘new Labor’ by the way, Sally McManus, she doesn't believe that unions have to comply with the law. Well we do, we do. And that’s why we passed legislation to make sure they do.

The law, the industrial law she’s complaining about, were passed by the previous Labor government. She’s complaining about the Fair Work Act and the Fair Work Commission. She does not want to abide even by laws that Labor governments have enacted. That tells you, it gives you a very big insight into what a Shorten government would be like. He would lead, were he ever to be Prime Minister, the most left-wing, union dominated, militant Labor government we’ve seen for generations.


Prime Minister, what would be wrong with a rule that converted casuals after six month, into permanent employees?


Well the rate of casual employment has been the same for decades. You have to allow the workplace flexibility so that businesses can invest and employ and that people can work in the way that suits them and their own arrangement.

Just remember, the most important thing is to get people into work. Now in the last year we have seen over 400,000 new jobs created. Right, over 1100 jobs a day. The highest jobs growth in our history, three quarters of them full-time jobs.

So with the Labor Party and Bill Shorten and Sally McManus, all of their policies are designed to reduce investment, increase taxes and undermine employment.

We have promised jobs and growth and that is what we are delivering.


Do you recognise the casualisation of the workforce is a problem? Ie the inability to get a mortgage?


I just have to say to you, the rate of casual employment is the same as it’s been for a long time.

What Sally McManus is seeking to do and what Bill Shorten wants to do, is they want to increase the power of trade unions. That’s all they want to do.

They don't care about the vast majority of Australians who are not members of the union.

They don't care about the level of employment.

They have got one objective and that is to increase the power of militant trade unions.

Of course, if Shorten was Prime Minister, they would be running the country.


Following the High Court's decision today, will the government refer Dr Gillespie to the High Court itself?


No, there’s absolutely no reason to do so, he’s fully in compliance with the Constitution.


Prime Minister in terms of company tax cuts, are you confident you can get them across the line?


Well obviously we’re seeking the support of the crossbench. It’s vitally important that we provide that incentive for businesses - small, medium and large - to invest and employ. That’s why we’ve seen jobs growth to date. We’ve already secured reductions in business tax for businesses of up to $50 million a year in turnover. That is not a giant business of course but half of Australians, more than half in fact, work for companies of that size or smaller.

Now the fact is, we have to have a competitive tax rate. The US have gone to 21 per cent. We have to have a competitive company tax rate to attract investment, which will drive jobs.

Our pledge was to deliver jobs and economic growth. We are delivering on both. Our approach, our economic management is working. The proof is there in the jobs figures.

Thank you all very much.


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