Back in 2014 when Do-nothing Malcom was still pretending to care about policy he said:
“Looking at Australia’s tax regime you would say that it is too tough on people earning income… but is incredibly concessional to older people who have made their money…
All of these areas are very hard to deal with because any change invariably… [leads them]… to become very angry. That’s why reform is very difficult…”
In October 2015, newly appointed Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, gave an interview with Neil Mitchell whereby spelled-out his vision for tax reform, noting that “everything” was on the table:
Malcolm Turnbull: We have to look at the tax system. The tax system is the single biggest thing that the Federal Government does that incentivises and dis-incentivises economic activity. If you tax something, people will do less of it – generally… There are a lot of changes that can be made to the tax system, which would improve the efficiency of the system… The tax system as it stands delivers a certain amount of money every year. The question is, can it be adjusted… Change has got to be orderly, it’s got to be well understood, it’s got to be well explained, it’s gotta be accepted.
Neil Mitchell: Superannuation, negative gearing, capital gains, GST, everything’s gotta be on the table?
Malcolm Turnbull: Everything is on the table, that’s right… We will certainly be making decisions in the lead up to the Budget and obviously if we have major tax reforms, we will take them to the next election.
Then in November, Turnbull preached that “fairness” must be central to tax reform:
“Any package of reforms which is not and is not seen as fair will not and cannot achieve the public support without which it simply will not succeed. Fairness will be central,” he told an economic summit in Melbourne…
“The primary purpose of taxation is provide the revenues to pay for schools, hospitals, infrastructure and a strong social safety net,” Mr Turnbull said.
“But we need to ensure the taxes we impose to collect these revenues aren’t overly distorting the economic decisions which workers, businesses and consumers make”.
In February 2016, Turnbull reiterated that “everything is being looked at” in terms of tax reform:
“Corporate concessions, superannuation… there’s a whole range of areas… We are looking at all of these areas. This is a very thorough evidenced-based examination… Everything is being looked at [including negative gearing]…”
Yet today, as Labor proposes what is clearly progressive tax reform in the removal of imputation credit concessions that overwhelmingly benefit the ages and wealthy, Do-nothing Malcolm has turned wrecker:
“Bill Shorten is robbing pensioners and self-funded retirees of tax refunds. He’s effectively taxing them twice,” Mr Turnbull said.
“This is an attack targeted on people on lower and middle-incomes. It is taking money from people who have worked and saved all their lives and are battling.
“So he can dress this up as much as he likes, but I tell you Australian pensioners, self-funded retirees, know who it’s targeted at. It’s targeted at them.
“Bill Shorten is coming for the savings, for the incomes, for the lifestyles, for the affordability of the cost of living of people on lower and lower middle-incomes in retirement.”
It’s always fine words and no action with this bloke.