Parliamentary

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (11:26): I rise on behalf of the shadow Treasurer to speak on this Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No. 1) Bill. The bill has three schedules. Firstly, it seeks to strengthen integrity rules for scrip-for-scrip rollover in relation to small business and other concessions. Secondly, it seeks to provide tax exemption status for certain ex gratia payments for natural disasters. Thirdly, it seeks to extend tax deductibility status to ethics education. In relation to the third schedule the coalition has a number of reservations in relation to the broad drafting, and in the consideration in detail stage we will seek to remove this schedule from the bill. This was foreshadowed yesterday by our shadow Assistant Treasurer, Senator Mathias Cormann. First, let me deal with the first two schedules. The first schedule seeks to amend the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to ensure that certain integrity rules…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (12:12): Let me say at the outset the coalition will not oppose these bills, even though they contain a tax increase on superannuation. The coalition made it clear in response to Labor's budget that while many of its measures are objectionable, the coalition reserves the right to implement Labor's measures if needed as part of our pathway back to surplus. Australia cannot keep running up record debt and deficits. There is a fundamental difference between the coalition and Labor. We believe that governments, like families and businesses, have to live within their means. We will have a commission of audit so that government is only as big as it needs to be to do what people cannot do for themselves. At least for the first term, until we are on an honest path of not just a surplus but repaying debt, an incoming coalition government will…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (17:14): This debate on the appropriation bills provides each member with an opportunity to give their views not just on the budget but on any aspect of government policy. Of course, it is right and proper that each member of parliament who speaks on these bills focuses, to a large extent, on the government's budget. With a budget the government tells the nation its priorities and the public in turn can judge it on its capacity, on its competence and on its priorities. In this very Federation Chamber last year we had this debate and if we could go back to that moment in time we had those opposite pledging, and in some cases announcing, that they had achieved a budget surplus. As I reflect on each of our current Treasurer's budgets, they all have one underlying theme: with each budget there are grand promises that…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (20:00): I ask leave of the House to move the second reading on behalf of the member for North Sydney. Leave granted. Mr TONY SMITH: I move: That this bill be now read a second time. The member for North Sydney had introduced this bill, the Tax Laws Amendment (Disclosure of MRRT Information) Bill 2013, in his name but unfortunately he cannot be here this evening because he is meeting a speaking engagement that was agreed to quite some time ago. As you would understand, Madam Deputy Speaker, he has no control over the timing of these debates. The coalition, as members would know, is seeking to amend the confidentiality of taxpayer information provisions within the Taxation Administration Act 1953, in order to provide an exception to the prohibition imposed on tax officers in relation to the disclosure of information regarding the tax affairs of a…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (17:32): On behalf of the shadow Treasurer, I rise to speak on the Parliamentary Service Amendment (Parliamentary Budget Officer) Bill 2013. The coalition is supporting this bill. This bill amends the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 to give the Parliamentary Budget Officer the function of preparing a report, including costings of the publicly announced policies of the designated parliamentary parties, within 30 days after a government forms following a general election. Let me begin with some history. The establishment of a parliamentary budget office was a coalition election commitment in the 2010 federal election. The establishment of a PBO was also a key element of the agreement between the government and the member for Lyne, the member for New England and the member for Denison, along with the Greens. On 23 March 2011, following the federal election, the government established a joint select committee inquiry into the…
Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (21:16): I rise on behalf of the member for North Sydney, the shadow Treasurer, to speak on the Corporations Amendment (Simple Corporate Bonds and Other Measures) Bill 2013. The bill has two schedules. The first deals with amending the Corporations Act to facilitate improved trading of retail corporate bonds in Australia. These measures were part of the Treasurer's banking plan, announced back in December 2010. As members would be aware, the shadow Treasurer has been calling for the establishment of a deep and liquid corporate bond market in Australia since October 2010. We note that it has taken the Treasurer almost three years to bring forward this legislation. The coalition will, as part of its financial services inquiry and commitment to a reduction in red tape for business, monitor the progress of this legislation. The government claims that the changes contained in schedule 1 will establish…
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