"Malcolm Turnbull wants to make you pay more for the things you need most"

That’s the message Bill Shorten wants to send you. In his speech today, Bill Shorten showed voters that whatever Turnbull does, he won’t, and whatever Turnbull doesn’t, he will. It’s a game of cat and mouse and Mr Shorten is going all the way with policies that are the direct opposite of Turnbull’s.

Addressing the 2015 Economic and Social Outlook Conference in Melbourne, Mr Shorten used the Turnbull Government’s latest plans as ammunition and launched into a speech that touched on just about everything and you guessed it: he and his party will be offering the opposite.

“Anyone can talk the talk – and lord knows we’ve seen a bit of that in recent weeks – it’s walking the walk that matters. Reform depends on values and it is measured by progress. Let us say what we mean and mean what we say”, he said.

Mr Shorten outlined some of the issues of the Liberal government over the past two years:

  • Our deficit has doubled.
  • Wages are growing at their slowest rate this century
  • Unemployment has had a six in front of it for sixteen straight months.
  • 770,000 of our fellow Australians are unemployed.
  • There’s another 1 million Australians who are under-employed – seeking more hours and greater job security, but unable to find it.
  • There are 800,000 Australians on the Disability Support Pension – many of whom are willing to participate, but unable to do so.
  • It is tougher than ever before for young people to put together a deposit for a house.
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Shorten focused on the tax system’s broader issues before talking about GST on the whole. The Opposition Leader spoke in length about tax concessions for the wealthy and how a Labor government would put an end to big businesses and multi-millionaire’s rorting the system.

“We have taxpayers in the top personal income tax bracket account for 2.7 per cent of the total number of taxpayers. But they also account for 55 per cent of the total capital gains income,” Mr Shorten said.

“They are able to avail of a system where they’re two-and-a-half times more likely to be able to claim tax concessions than other income earners”.

Shorten also criticised the plans to increase the GST and said Labor simply would not do it. “Jacking up the GST to 15 per cent is not innovative, agile or creative,” he said.

“This government’s fixation with increasing the GST shows that when all you’ve got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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“The Labor Party I lead are ready, willing and vocal participants in any debate about the GST. We are being upfront and honest about where we stand.

“Labor is resolutely opposed to making Australians pay more for what they need most.

“We will not support increasing a regressive GST that inflicts the heaviest punishment upon those least able to afford it.

“NATSEM modelling shows that even if an increase in the GST was paired with a 5 per cent reduction in every tax rate, this would actually make our tax system more regressive than a simple increase in the GST. This scenario would see almost two-thirds of households worse off.

“Increasing the GST is not the answer, and neither is broadening the base to include more essential goods and services.

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“Whether it’s increasing the rate or broadening the base, the outcome is the same: Australia’s lowest income households will bear the brunt.

“The most well-off families in Australia spend around 75 per cent of their income. Low income families consume 125 per cent of theirs.

“A far greater share of their family budget goes toward essentials such as fresh food and health care. And it is the percentage of the household budget that really tells the tale of unfairness.

“Australians who are working hard to make ends meet don’t need another lecture in another form about doing more of the ‘heavy lifting’.

“And if increasing the GST is just a disguise for making working people pay more for everything, then Malcolm Turnbull’s idea of ‘fairness’ will turn out to be a nightmare for everyday Australians”.

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Superannuation was also hung out to dry, with criticism of the huge industry.

“If you’ve worked hard and accumulated millions of dollars in retirement savings – good luck to you”, Shorten said.

“But you don’t need an ongoing hand-up from Australian taxpayers. Especially not when our superannuation system currently disadvantages low income earners and women in particular.

“Superannuation is a great Labor idea, a reform with purpose. A promise that Australians wouldn’t work hard all their lives, only to retire poor.

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“And a plan to ensure fewer Australians would rely on a taxpayer-funded pension in retirement.

The Labor party leader ended the speech by saying, “Whenever the next election is, Labor is excited for the upcoming battle of ideas. We will campaign on our positive plans to advance Australia beyond the mining boom.

“Our plans to build the productivity, prosperity and jobs of the future, with fairness at the centre”.



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Tell us, do you think a Liberal or Labor government will leave you worse off?