27 March 2017

I rise to speak on this motion today, and today I will be focusing on paragraph (2)

(a) of the motion moved by the member for Brisbane:

a Ten Year Enterprise Tax Plan to reduce the tax rate to 27.5 per cent … with the tax rate to progressively reduce

to 25 per cent by 1 July 2026 …

I note that the government is saying that this is already happening, when nothing is clearer than that this

government is slowly, slowly walking away from its centrepiece. When the Treasurer was asked last week by

the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Treasurer, 'Do you stand by your tax cut to big business, and will

it be in the budget?' the government refused to answer it. It refused point blank to answer whether it stands by

its central economic argument—I may say its one so-called silver bullet to deliver the jobs and the economic

growth that our nation needs. There is nothing else on the table. There is nothing else being put forward except

a large tax cut to multinational companies.

We heard from the member opposite that this is the way forward. Well, I know that in my own community the

way forward is not to rip apart the social safety net. It is not, as the government likes to do, to talk about jobs but

not invest in skills and training. In my own electorate, thousands upon thousands of young people have missed

the chance for an apprenticeship on this government's watch.

But what are the government's priorities? Their priorities are, as we have heard in this motion today—and they

want to be congratulated for it—to deliver a $50 billion tax cut to some of the largest multinational companies

in the world, including $7 billion of tax cuts to the big banks. I will say that again: $7 billion worth of tax cuts

to banks.

On top of this, I note that, when I did a mobile office on the weekend in the suburb of Brookwater, a number

of residents raised the issue of the government's agenda and what they were doing, and a local couple summed

it up very well when they said: 'Just once, we would like this government to be focused on us, not the top end

of town. Just once, we'd like a discussion that is not about lifters and leaners and not about whether people

should be entitled or dodging the pension or getting Centrelink robo-debt letters despite not owing a dollar to the

government, victimising and demonising people who can least afford it.' Just once, they would like a conversation

not about how we can let the top end of town off the hook and not about how we can do more for the trickledown

approach that this government is absolutely addicted to but about how we can make hardworking families

get ahead. Time and time again, writ large, it is this government's agenda. It is not worried about the bottom

end but about the top end.

They can say all they want, but out there in the public there is a reason why support for the government is crashing.

The community is walking away from the government. In the member for Forde's electorate, there is a reason

—through you, Mr Deputy Speaker—you got a massive swing against you at the last election: the community

do not trust you. They do not believe in you and what you are doing. They want a government that puts them

first, just like Bill Shorten and Labor will always put people first, just like the couple raised with me. They did

not raise with me how the big banks needed a hand. They did not ask me about multinational companies needing

a bit of an extra hand. They were worried about their take-home pay. A young worker told me they stand to

lose $60 per week—

Mr Van Manen interjecting

Mr DICK: That is not a lot of money for the member for Forde. It does not make a lick of difference to him.

But it makes a difference for that worker in my community who is going to suffer a $60 a week pay cut.

We also have data released today that shows the government's complicity in terms of delivering a pay cut will

mean a $650 million hit to the budget if these penalty rates are scrapped. Not only is it bad for family budgets;

it is bad for the economy. So let us not have any more lectures about debt and deficit from those opposite. Start

talking about the people who need a hand. That is the people in my community and every other community

across Australia.