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Tax Reform Clive Palmer and leading Palmer United Senator Dio Wang campaigned strenuously for a fairer distribution of GST revenue to the States by the Federal Government. This campaigning was instrumental in securing an additional payment to Western Australia of $499 million in May 2015. Further, Senator Wang introduced legislation that was rejected by the major parties to support a fairer distribution of GST across the country. Clive Palmer and the Palmer United Party also fought for a number of other important tax reform issues. These included company tax reform, Fringe Benefits Tax, Company insolvency/bankruptcy reform (this included proposed legislation based on United States Chapter 11 procedures allowing companies in financial difficulty to continue trading under specific conditions with tight regulatory supervision), fifty-percent tax reduction on second jobs, eliminating inefficient taxes which prevent people investing and spending in the economy. The Palmer United Party continued to support policies which provided incentives for growing the economy. Political Integrity Throughout the 44th Parliament, Clive Palmer brought to light issues surrounding political activity in the country. He led the party in opposing the generous pay rises granted to Queensland politicians, describing them as an insult to the people whom their representatives are meant to be serving. Clive Palmer also continued to mount pressure on politicians being found to abuse the generous entitlements offered under the parliamentary pay and conditions system. His appearance on the ABC TV political program, Insiders', discussing matters around the Bronwyn Bishop “Heligate” scandal played an important role in the then Speaker of the House resigning from her position. The party also opposed undemocratic surveillance and telephone tapping of Australian citizens and overseas, Heads of State and their families by Government organisations. This campaign included Clive Palmer’s first Parliamentary Question to the then Prime Minister Tony Abbott on this issue. Palmer United Party campaigned on a policy for the 2013 Federal Election that political lobbyists should not hold executive positions in political parties. This is a position Clive Palmer had long held and fought for in previous Liberal and National Party State and Federal Conferences. In a win for Palmer United Party, the then newly elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott adopted this policy at his first cabinet meeting. The party was also vocal in its opposition to the anti-freedom of association (VLAD) laws being introduced to Queensland and ensured the success of a Senate motion proposed by the Senator Glenn Lazarus for a Senate Select Committee to investigate certain activities of the Queensland Government led by the then Premier Campbell Newman. Clive Palmer exposed the inconsistencies in the Government ‘debt and deficit emergency’ argument and the Intergenerational Report, by highlighting the Government’s own “Why Australia Benchmark Report 2015”, which confirmed that in the years 1992–2014, in developed economies, Australia has the world’s fastest growing GDP, with no years of recession over that period (unlike most of the rest of the world); Australia’s debt level of 16.6% of GDP in 2015 was one of the lowest in the world - well below the 74.1% forecast average for Advanced Economies (the German debt level was over 300% more than Australia’s); and Australia’s productivity had gone from the 100% base in 1991 to over 150% in 2014, while at the same time real unit labour costs had declined by more than 10%. More importantly, Clive’s revelation and determined campaigning highlighted the need for the government to adopt growth policies, and not continue with their austerity policies they were currently running. The Palmer United Party position on this issue The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 65


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