Opinion Pieces

Check out opinion pieces that Murray Watt has written.


June 29, 2018

Labor's win in the Longman by-election has shown one thing very clearly - Queenslanders do not want to see their schools and hospitals cut to pay for a $17 billion tax cut for the big banks. Despite this clear message, Malcolm Turnbull and his Queensland MPs continue to back in the big business tax cut. 

There has been a lot of colour and light around this debate, but I thought you deserved the facts on why Labor is opposing these tax cuts.

Firstly, they provide little economic benefit to Australia. Even the Government’s own figures show that cutting company taxes will only increase employment in Australia by 0.1% - and even that would take another 20 years!

While the Government points to “evidence” of Donald Trump’s company tax cuts producing economic gains in the US, the experience there is actually that businesses have used tax cuts to fund higher executive bonuses and share buybacks, providing no benefit to working people or the broader economy.

The benefits are particularly small in regional Queensland, where I spend a lot of time as a Queensland Senator.

For example, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show that only eight businesses based in each of the Central Queensland electorates of Flynn and Capricornia will get a tax cut, under the Government’s plan. 

Secondly, the tax cuts are fundamentally unfair. The only way the Government can fund them, as well as their $41.6 billion personal tax cuts for high income earners, is to continue the cuts the Turnbull Government has made to funding for the services all Australians depend upon - schools, hospitals and apprenticeships. This would have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable in our community.

Labor thinks there is a better way to make our economy work for all Australians. We support putting more money in the pockets of low and middle income earners, through higher wages, investing in people’s skills and building job-creating infrastructure projects. This is fair for all Australians and will do much more for our economy than a massive tax cut to big business.

Let's hope that Malcolm Turnbull and his LNP MPs ditch this big business tax cut for good. Otherwise, Queenslanders are going to send the LNP the same message the people of Longman sent - money for hospitals, not banks.