Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No 5) Bill 2015

Monday, 23 November 2015

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell—Assistant Minister to the Treasurer) (13:20): I rise to support the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 5) Bill 2015. I thank the member for Blair for his expression of support for the government's measures. In this bill, there are sensible measures in which the government is demonstrating its commitment to building a fair and sustainable tax system and, over time, implementing modernisations and efficiencies to ensure that the tax system is fit for purpose for the 21st century. I note the member for Fraser moved an amendment to the bill which is really out of step with the support that the member for Blair expressed. It really does not go to any practical, positive, problem-solving measure that we would expect from a vibrant opposition. I say to the member for Fraser that he should really go back and re-read his own books. He would probably find some good, positive ideas in there that he could put forward that the government would be willing to adopt at any time. He could consult with his colleague the member for Blair, who recognises that, in these schedules, we are modernising the methods of tax collection and ensuring that we minimise bureaucracy and streamline processes.

Today, I really just rise to say that I completely support the government's commitment to an approach of fairness and sustainability in the Australian tax system. Obviously, we are making some important modernisation changes to the methods for calculating tax deductions. We are creating some changes to zone tax offsets and some new reporting regimes. This bill is emblematic of the Turnbull government's commitment to ongoing tax reform. It is good to see that the Labor Party are supporting this bill and the government's approach. They will have the opportunity to support more of the measures to reduce expenditure that they proposed while they were in government.

I will finish by saying that the member for Blair's speech on expenditure in this second reading debate demonstrates why Labor are not really fit to return to office. They have not yet learned the lessons about restraining expenditure and expenditure growth. Clearly, in every speech they give in this place they do not understand why it is important to rein in expenditure, why we have to curtail, in particular, expenditure growth and why we need governments to be focused very much on this task in these difficult economic times. Without further ado, I say that this is a good bill, a good approach. I am grateful that the opposition has recognised that this government is delivering on tax reform.