Subjects: Labor’s crab walking away from legislated tax cuts; Essendon CEO resignation; Dan Andrews; Victorian election; cost of living; nuclear energy.
Peter Dutton, thank you for your time.
Look, we are clearly being softened up by the government for Labor to break its promise to cut taxes. What is the best argument for these stage three tax cuts?
Well Andrew, great to be on the show. Thank you very much. Well, the government agreed with the Morrison Government when we introduced these tax cuts because we don’t want people advancing through with bracket creep and we don’t want people losing more of their own money. So, the greatest argument for tax cuts is that we want to give people back more of their own money. What is proposed here is to reduce the taxation on people earning between $45,000 a year and $200,000 a year, so 95 per cent of people end up paying no more than 30 cents in the dollar. Labor is proposing – it seems, or at least they’re divided on what they want to do at the moment – to walk away from what was a core promise which would have a detrimental impact on those individuals, but also on the economy more generally.
What about the argument, ‘oh, we can’t afford it anymore because inflation, budgetary pressures, maybe a global recession’?
Well Andrew, the tax cuts don’t start until mid-2024 so there’s no inflationary pressure, particularly over calendar ‘23, which is promising to be a very difficult year. My judgement is, on everything I read that the US and the UK will go into recession, but the fundamentals of the Australian economy – given that we’ve had nine years of Coalition government – are much, much stronger and it means that our economy is more resilient. So, it will take a lot for the Labor Party to mess it up and to drive us into recession, which is the last thing I want for our country, but as we know, they’re capable of making that decision.
So, by calendar ‘24 and indeed by July 1 of ‘24, for the fiscal year, we should have a policy which will drive behaviour in the economy, that will see people pay down their mortgages, see them enter back into a discretionary spend in the economy so that restaurants can continue to prosper or to come out of a difficult year, next year.
So, there are good economic reasons as to why you should do it and these conjured up arguments from Jim Chalmers about there being some equivalence with what’s happened in the UK – it’s a complete nonsense. The proposal there was that the top marginal tax rate would be abolished – people earning over 150,000 quid a year or 260,000 Australian dollars would be the beneficiary under that model. That is not what’s being proposed here so I think Jim Chalmers is clutching at straws there.
Also, these tax cuts are two years from now and of course they were factored in four years ago.
I would have thought that if the government’s a bit short of other people’s money and it really wants to ‘spend, spend, spend’, then how about cutting their own spending rather than cancelling a tax cut? It’s going to be passing a budget next month. What do you expect to be in it or what should be in it?
Well Andrew, you propose a novel approach that if you’re spending more than you earn, then you should cut back on what you’re spending. I mean, there would be Labor people watching the show whose heads are spinning because that is not within the Labor Party DNA. The Labor Party know how to tax and they know how to spend and at the core of their ideology is to try and redistribute wealth.
You see that with Queensland where they’re proposing this ridiculous royalties tax and that will drive investment out of Queensland and therefore jobs. They’re proposing a land tax, which they’ve now abolished, but it would target people who have worked hard and have a couple of rental properties to try and support themselves in retirement, and so the same ideology permeates right through people like Jim Chalmers.
Don’t forget that Dr Chalmers undertook his doctorate studying the very fruitful contribution of Paul Keating, and he was the Chief of Staff to Wayne Swan. So, you wouldn’t expect him to have too many rational views, but he certainly doesn’t have a view that they should spend within their means. I think you’ll see, again, some programs that the Coalition implemented that they’ll cut, they’ll claim that they’re saving money there but there will be no recurrent save and I think Labor has a great capacity to make a bad situation worse and I suspect we’ll see that in the October Budget.
Peter Dutton, as I said last night, you’ve done something that a lot of people – a lot of conservatives and a lot of libertarians – have been crying out for, haven’t heard it from a Liberal leader for a long time – you got stuck into a culture war. You spoke very strongly against the Essendon AFL football club for forcing out a new CEO – former NAB boss, Andrew Thorburn because of his ties to an Anglican Church. That got you this rebuke today from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews who has sneered Thorburn repeatedly as a homophobe and a bigot. Here he is:
Peter Dutton is in no position to challenge anybody about anything. He should reflect on nine wasted years where Victoria did not get a fair share. He’s not particularly relevant to the work that we’re doing. I doubt that he knows where Melton is.
Your response, Peter Dutton?
Well, a couple of points I could make, but instead let me say this – I think Daniel Andrews presides over one of the most corrupt governments in the country and if ever there was a time for a change of government, it’s now in Victoria.
The people of Victoria, many friends I’ve spoken to who have suffered through the long lockdowns over the last couple of years, the intrusion into their lives, the bad decisions that Daniel Andrews has presided over, the practices that he’s championed, have been to the detriment of Victorians and I hope and pray that they can change government down there because Daniel Andrews is well and truly past his use by date and the gratuitous comments that he provides, I mean, there’s nothing substantive in what he says. He doesn’t argue the merit, you’ll notice, he attacks the person and that’s how he gets away with skating over the issues where he’s had a complete failure.
In relation to the Thorburn case, I think it’s something that the Premier should have stood up on and stood up to the values that he would champion every day. He would say that he’s in favour of inclusion, he would say that he’s in favour of freedom of choice and freedom of speech and instead he’s supported a decision which has crucified somebody for their religious beliefs.
In our country, in the year 2022, it shouldn’t be tolerated, it should be called out, and I absolutely stand by what I said yesterday. The Liberal Party has very strong values, particularly around the rights of the individual and I’ll take every opportunity to assert those because people will know by the time of the next election that there is a big difference between the Liberal Party and the Labor Party – not just on social issues, but on economic and national security issues as well.
The new religion – global warming – this government’s got frankly unbelievable and dangerous targets like making us buy electric cars, half of all new car sales by 2030. By then, making 83 per cent of our electricity come from unreliable renewable energy. That’s based on this global warming scare but there’s been so many dud predictions as you know. Here for instance, is our former Chief Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery, 15 years ago:
Even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river system.
In fact, Peter Dutton, Sydney has today recorded the most annual rainfall ever, it’s wettest year ever. Its dams are full, Melbourne’s and Brisbane’s nearly full. What do you conclude from all this?
Well, that Tim Flannery was dead wrong, so I presume he’ll come out and apologise for the mistake, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for that, Andrew. I mean, we’ve started this debate on nuclear power in our country. It’s absurd that in the year 2022 we can’t be talking about safe new technology in the form of the small modular reactors and France, Canada, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and many other countries have either adopted or are considering the adoption of nuclear power to firm up the renewables in the system.
This pipe dream that the government has around $100 billion roll out of cables and towers in communities and towns across the country is never going to be realised. We’re talking in Europe at the moment about a catastrophic winter where people are going to either feed themselves or turn on their heaters, but they’re not going to be able to afford to do both. So, power prices will continue to go through the roof in our country, whilst Labor pursues their zealot-like approach.
So, I want to see, indeed happy to see renewables in the system, but it needs to be firmed up and if you don’t like coal and gas and you don’t believe hydrogen’s coming any time soon and hydro is not going to fit the bill, what are you left with?
Peter Dutton, thank you so much indeed for your time.
Thanks, Andrew. Thank you.