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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Speech SECOND READING Bills Tax Laws Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Income Tax Rates Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Family Trust Distribution Tax (Primary Liability) Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Fringe Benefits Tax Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Income Tax (Bearer Debentures) Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Income Tax (First Home Saver Accounts Misuse Tax) Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Income Tax (TFN Withholding Tax (ESS)) Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Superannuation (Departing Australia Superannuation Payments Tax) Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Superannuation (Excess Non- concessional Contributions Tax) Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Superannuation (Excess Untaxed Roll-over Amounts Tax) Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Taxation (Trustee Beneficiary Non-disclosure Tax) (No. 1) Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Taxation (Trustee Beneficiary Non- disclosure Tax) (No. 2) Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Tax Laws Amendment (Interest on Non-Resident Trust Distributions) (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Tax Laws Amendment (Untainting Tax) (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014, Trust Recoupment Tax Amendment (Temporary Budget Repair Levy) Bill 2014 Wednesday, 28 May 2014 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (09:20): I will just reflect and say before I start my speech: it is sad that members of the government are not informed about what the real facts are. It is sad that they are relying on the leadership of the Treasurer and the Prime Minister to advise them what the facts are. I would advise all members of the government to go to the OECD website, go to International Monetary Fund, and see what the real situation is in relation to Australia’s debt. There is no need at all for a debt levy. It is just to create a fear among Australians that we are in a difficult position so the government can introduce a lot of retrospective situations that we do not need. The true situation is, in the OECD, Australia is the third lowest debt nation. Our debt is about 12 per cent of our GDP, and the debt in the average advanced economies in the OECD is 73 per cent of their GDP. So we are five times better off, and maybe that is the reason why Australia is only one of 13 nations in the world that has a triple-A credit rating. It is as simple as that. When the Treasurer and the Prime Minister made their promises before the election, they were aware of these things and that is why they made the promise that there would be no cuts to pensions, no changes with Medicare and all the rest of it. As Australians we do not want to sit in this place and talk rubbish and lies about what the real state of the economy is. There are tried, tested and proven means which are available to every member of the government on the OECD and the IMF to say what our true position is. So why then doesn’t the backbench in the government hold their leadership to account? Why don’t they raise these irrefutable facts in the party room and get the explanation from the Treasurer and see what he has got to say about it? And why do the Treasurer and the Prime Minister lie to the Australian people? Aren’t they responsible for that? I joined the Liberal Party many years ago—40 years ago I was a Liberal-National Party member. I was here in Canberra when we had the Field affair, the Gair affair. I have been through more elections than most of the members of the government would ever know. But I remember Bob Menzies as Prime Minister of this country who stood for a Liberal Party that was a low-taxing party. I remember Malcolm Fraser as Prime Minister of Australia who stood for a low taxation, and John Howard. The Liberal Party in its history has believed in low taxation, so to bring in a debt levy, to tax anyone, to push 82 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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