SATURDAY, 11 JUNE 2016
SUBJECT/S: TRUST; FAMILY TAX BENEFITS
ANDREW O’KEEFE, PRESENTER: It’s time to focus our attention on the federal election again. It seems trust has become the key word on the campaign trail. Polls are showing that the PM is losing the trust of many voters who aren’t convinced that the government’s plans pass the fairness test.
EDWINA BARTHOLOMEW, PRESENTER: Meanwhile, Labor faces its own trust issues with Bill Shorten backing down on cuts to family payments. Joining us to discuss the “T” word, among other words are the Coalition’s Angus Taylor and Labor’s Jason Clare. Good morning to you both.
Angus we will start with you, the polls indicate that the PM is losing the trust of voters, even losing support in his own seat of Wentworth. Disappointment I think, disenchantment that he doesn’t stand for the things that they thought he did. How do you come back from that?
ANGUS TAYLOR, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CITIES AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: I think the difference between us and Labor, is we have spent two years being honest with the Australian people about the fiscal situation, what spending can be done and what spending can’t be done. Whilst that’s a difficult conversation, the truth is what we have seen this week is an extraordinary backflip, an absolutely extraordinary backflip from Labor, where they have been saying for two years we should spend on this, spend on that.
O’KEEFE: We are going to get to. On the PM’s issue.
TAYLOR: I mean, the fact of the matter is that we have been honest with the Australian people about the situation. I am confident that that honesty will pay back over the next couple of weeks in the lead up to the election.
BARTHOLOMEW: I think the trust issue goes beyond just the economy. There are lots of issues.
TAYLOR: You can say that but I think ultimately what the Australian people want to know is this a government that can keep it’s promises? And ultimately, a lot of that comes back to spending. The economy. Are they going to have the money they say they are going to have. Are they going to be able to deliver what they say they can deliver.
O’KEEFE: That’s the message.
TAYLOR: Labor has shown this week that they will not be able to.
JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: Trust is very important. If you don’t trust a company, you are not going to buy its product. If you don’t trust a politician, you are unlikely to vote for them. I think one of the reasons that Tony Abbott’s popularity went down so quickly was because before the last election he said there would be no cuts to education and health. After the election it was like the ‘Red Wedding’, there were cuts everywhere. It’s the same problem Malcolm Turnbull has. Before he became Prime Minister he was someone else. People feel like he has sold out. He is something different as Prime Minister than he was before – which explains why he is going off like a fish milkshake. People are disappointed in this bloke.
TAYLOR: Before early elections, Kevin Rudd said he was going to be a fiscal conservative. He showed with Labor, you can’t control spending. We are seeing exactly the same thing now, where we have flushed out Labor on their big spending promises they have been making for the last two years.
CLARE: The big difference, and Andrew you wanted to go to the announcement this week, the big difference is we have said where we will cuts before the election. Whereas the Libs tell you what they are going to cut after the election.
O’KEEFE: But some of the things that you said you would cut are cuts that you were previously blocking like the school kids Bonus for example. Or measures that you previously argued against like the temporarily debt levy. Given that you did argue against those things and now they are part of your policy . How do we trust you?
CLARE: You have got to make priorities. We want to fund our schools, give extra money for our kids at schools. We need to protect Medicare. If we don’t protect Medicare you will have to pay $20 to go to the doctor. We want to make it more affordable for people to put their kids in child care as well. Which means you have to make some tough decisions.
Let me make this point Andrew, we also made some changes to family tax payments. Families will be better off under the Labor Party than they will be under the Liberal Party. Under the Liberal Party’s policy if you are a family that lives off $40,000 or $50,000 a year, as soon as your child becomes a teenager you loose that payment. In an electorate like mine in Western Sydney that’s going to hurt lots and lots of families. We have said that that cuts off or that it reduces once a family earns more than $100,000.
BARTHOLOMEW: But Jason, coming from Western Sydney you know earning $100,000 isn’t a wealthy family and they are going to lose that aren’t they?
CLARE: No they won’t lose it. It’s just that the payment will be half than what it is if you are earning less than $100,000.
BARTHOLOMEW: You can imagine a lot of families hearing that this morning, not very happy.
CLARE: A family that is on over $100,000 is not rich. But you have got to prioritise the funding to the families that need it most. Under the Liberal plan earning $40,000 or $50,000 a year and you’ve got teenage kids, you lose that payment all together, once the children turn 13.
TAYLOR: But Jason for two years we have been listening to you lecture us about how we should be spending more on this, more on that, more on everything else. This week, you were flushed out. You had to admit that you were going to make cuts to families, to pensioners, to school kids, to university students and we know now that’s not the end of it. There is more to go. At the end of it, we heard from Chris Bowen this week that the budget position will be worse. So, when the numbers don’t add up.
CLARE: Let me clarify.
TAYLOR: When the numbers don’t add up, ultimately you are held to account.
CLARE: There is one thing that the Libs don’t want you to hear that they are terrified about and that is over 10 years, the budget is in a much stronger position under Labor, than the Liberals because we are making the tough decisions now about things like negative gearing. The Liberal’s are terrified about anyone knowing that the budget would be better under Labor.
O’KEEFE: Gentlemen you both pledge to cuts in certain areas, I guess it’s up to the electorate to decide which ones they want. We do need to leave it there sadly.