In Parliament

Adjournment - Budget & Taxes



Thursday, 20 May 2021

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (19:04):

My Adjournment is for the Treasurer, and the action I seek is for the Labor government to scrap the envy-based tax attack at the core of its punitive State Budget.

This Budget is a tax attack, a Budget that hates entrepreneurs and job creators, a budget of envy. It is a budget whose economic plan is to borrow, tax and overspend.

On borrowing, our debt will peak at $156.3 billion.

On tax, the Budget includes an additional $10 billion in new tax revenue—new tax that includes a callous new payroll tax on business, the biggest ever new state tax.

As Jennifer Westacott, the Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, said on the new payroll tax:

This sets a very dangerous precedent of fiscal repair which ultimately harms growth.

The hospitality sector will be hit acutely. Chris Lucas, owner of the Chin Chin restaurant group, has said the new payroll tax is, quote, ‘a real kick in the guts’. And on spending, Labor has already overspent $22.3 billion in cost blowouts, a cost blowout bill that Labor is forcing the private sector to pay.

As Paul Guerra, the Chief Executive of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:

We’re really concerned that businesses continue to foot the bill for … ongoing cost blowouts on government projects.

This is a dangerous, tall-poppy Budget. The government’s property tax approach is class based. It is highway robbery.

Over recent years Labor sat on its hands and reaped the reward of a structurally unfair land tax system. Desperate for cash, Labor’s Budget introduces viciously increased property taxes.

Under the changes the land tax rate will increase by 0.25 per cent for taxable landholdings exceeding $1.8 million and 0.3 per cent for taxable landholdings exceeding $3 million.

Stamp duty will also increase. For transactions on properties over $2 million, the payable rate will increase to $110 000, 6.5 per cent of the dutiable value in excess of $2 million.

Despite Labor’s hollow rhetoric, this tax slug is ever broadening. There are now 26 suburbs where the median housing price is $2 million. As Saul Eslake, the former chief economist of ANZ bank, said, the Treasurer is, quote:

… taking a tax that is universally recognised as being the worst tax in the armoury of taxes levied by Australian governments and making it worse.

This Budget is a tax attack. It is a class-based, punitive attack.

More than anything else this Budget is economically dangerous, and I call on the Treasurer to scrap Labor’s envy-based taxes.