Five months ago, the Senate came within one vote of supporting the government’s Enterprise Tax Plan with its cost to revenue of at least 36 billion dollars.
Had I not taken that stand, the company tax cut plan in its entirety would now be law.
I am pleased to see that after having more time for consideration more senators have accepted that the budget is in no shape to take such a hit and that taxpayers money would be better allocated elsewhere.
I said in the Senate back in March that it was my intention to “review each bill on its merits, examining all the evidence available, in a non-partisan manner.”
I believe the Senate’s decision today vindicates my approach and my refusal to negotiate for my vote.
It is a vindication, too, of the view of the voters in the Super Saturday by-elections, in Mayo in my home state of South Australia, in Longman, Braddon, Fremantle and Perth.
The voters have made it clear that they would prefer precious taxpayers’ money to be allocated to get the quality of services they expect, more nurses, more teachers and improved infrastructure to make it easier to get to work and do the shopping, as well as to support R&D, advanced manufacturing and to build the jobs of tomorrow.
It would have been irresponsible to handcuff future parliaments to a decision which would have seen so much revenue foregone at a time when the budget is still fragile and the global economic outlook so uncertain.
A company tax cut on its own is not economic reform.
It is a priority now for parliament to start considering a broader discussion and initiatives to enhance the overall sustainability of our taxation system, using the Henry Tax Review as the benchmark.
It remains my intention to review each piece of legislation on its merits, examining all the evidence available, in a non-partisan manner. I believe that is what the South Australian people expect of me.
The Royal Commission has uncovered appalling conduct by financial institutions, many people have suffered greatly. Action must be taken to ensure this never happens and the perpetrators appropriately punished.
But I do not agree that the big banks should have been excised from the legislation. It is a distinct and separate issue.
I did not agree with the proposal to limit the tax cuts to companies with a turnover of 500 million dollars. That decision was based on the fact that there is no evidence from the government or elsewhere that it would lead to substantial growth in employment or wages.
For further details contact Jim Middleton 0418 627066 or Nino Miletovic 0478 846603