Subjects: Budget Reply; tax cuts; TAFE places; Newstart; citizenship.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Joining me now is Anthony Albanese in Canberra and Josh Frydenberg in Melbourne. Lads, good morning.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.
JOSH FRYDENBERG: Good morning to you, Karlos. Good morning to you, Albo.
STEFANOVIC: Albo, to you first of all. A lot of promises last night. You’ve got more dough than Bakers Delight, it seems.
ALBANESE: Well, we’re not giving away $80 billion in tax cuts to big companies and big banks. That will enable us to give bigger and fairer tax cuts to 10 million working Australians. It will allow us to have no fees for 100,000 TAFE students in areas of skills shortage. We shouldn’t be needing to import carpenters and bricklayers into this country. We should be training Australians here to do those jobs. We’ll have real investment in infrastructure and we’ll reduce waiting times in hospitals by having increased funding for health care.
STEFANOVIC: Josh, I hate to point it out but their tax cuts are bigger than yours.
FRYDENBERG: Well their tax hit on retirees and businesses and your property amount to some $200 billion. Nobody’s savings are safe with Bill Shorten. There was no mention in the Budget Reply last night about returning to surplus. There was no mention of national security and we know that he will continue to hit your hip pocket. So I think Bill Shorten has given you another rolled gold guarantee last night that your taxes will rise under Labor.
STEFANOVIC: Albo, how are you going to fund that cash splash on schools and hospitals? It’s billions of dollars.
ALBANESE: Well, we’re not giving away $80 billion in these company tax cuts. That’s how we’re going to fund it and we’ve made quite difficult decisions, like on negative gearing for future purchases – none of it is retrospective – but that was a tough decision that we took to the last election, that the Government actually knows is good policy that helps the bottom line and enables us to have the space to give bigger tax cuts to those people who really need it, who are struggling.
STEFANOVIC: You know who is struggling? These poor kids on Newstart. You couldn’t find any more money in all those giveaways for the kids on Newstart?
ALBANESE: We made substantial announcements last night and one of the things about our real investment in infrastructure is that it will assist people to get into real jobs. That’s why we’re abolishing the fees for 100,000 TAFE students.
STEFANOVIC: So that’s a no to an increase in Newstart?
ALBANESE: You can’t do everything. What you have to do is outline your priorities. Our priority is getting Australians into jobs; is investing in education and health care; and taking pressure off living costs to those 10 million Australians.
FRYDENBERG: Karl, can I just say that while Labor talks about getting people into jobs it’s the Coalition and the Turnbull Government that has delivered that. We’ve created more than 1000 jobs a day. Nearly a million people are into work and that’s why the Budget is coming back into balance a year earlier, because more people are in jobs.
STEFANOVIC: Okay, four Labor MPs – let’s move on – were forced out of Parliament this week because of citizenship issues. That’s despite dozens of denials by Bill Shorten and other Labor MPs that there were no dual citizens in their ranks. Here is Anthony, this is actually you on our very own show.
STEFANOVIC: Albo, Albo, Albo.
ALBANESE: Well it’s regrettable that it’s happening. The High Court have made their decision. We’ve accepted the umpire’s judgment and we’re getting on with the business now of making sure that those MPs are returned, to continue to make a contribution for their electorate and make a contribution here in Canberra.
STEFANOVIC: So right now, categorically – categorically, Albo – is everyone in your Party safe?
STEFANOVIC: Are you sure you want to go with that?
STEFANOVIC: What about Anne? Is Anne Aly okay?
ALBANESE: Yes. All you can do is make judgments based upon the advice which you have, which is all of these people complied certainly with the previous High Court determination which was essentially that if you’d made your best efforts – I mean, in Josh Wilson’s case of course, this is a guy who was preselected at the last minute because he was a replacement candidate – he filled in the form on the day; paid his money on the day after; the money was taken out of his bank account and he was entitled to think – I’m of the view – that given previous High Court determinations that he would be okay.
FRYDENBERG: Karl, can I just say. Can I just say, Karl…
ALBANESE: Josh, you’ve got ten seconds.
FRYDENBERG: The big story here is that Bill Shorten is like a wounded gazelle and Albo is like the lion there waiting in the long grass.
STEFANOVIC: That’s true.
FRYDENBERG: And the question is he ready to pounce?
STEFANOVIC: Like a tiger!
FRYDENBERG: Is he ready to pounce?
STEFANOVIC: Like a tiger!
ALBANESE: Good try, Josh.
FRYDENBERG: Rule it out, Albo. Rule it out!
ALBANESE: Good try, mate.
STEFANOVIC: Thanks Josh, thanks Albo.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.