If you would like to know more about why One Nation has reached this decision I covered this in great detail during an extensive media conference.
The media yesterday started saying I was waivering with these Company Tax Cuts. Well I’m not! I’ve made my decision to not support them any further than the $50 million turnover that has already passed.
As much as people in big business would like a company tax cut, we need to rein in our national debt.
No one begrudges a business owner making money. No different to employees who work hard to earn good money.
We need a strong economy now – not in 8 years.
I’d love nothing more than for power prices to drop by 20% to 30% to start with.
I know Queensland can do it overnight if the Queensland Government didn’t take a dividend from the power companies that are owned by the state government.
The only way we’ll save businesses and jobs in this country is if we bring down power prices immediately. This will go a long way in saving and creating Australian jobs.
It’s time we demand cheaper power prices from our State and Federal Governments.
Pauline Hanson sinks Turnbull’s company tax plan
Joe Kelly – The Australian
Pauline Hanson has dealt what appears to be a fatal blow to the government’s company tax cuts by withdrawing support for the package and producing a list of near impossible demands, declaring that Malcolm Turnbull has failed to sell the reform’s benefits.
The One Nation leader, who controls three Senate seats, cited her disappointment with the government’s strategy on debt reduction, warning the budget was built on “eggshells” and could “crash at any time” while calling out the Coalition’s failure to support coal-fired power to reduce soaring power bills.
The decision forces the Prime Minister back to the drawing board over the key economic policy he took to the 2016 double-dissolution election, with Senator Hanson saying she no longer believes the government has been “upfront and honest with me and the public”.
Centre Alliance, which has two upper house seats, yesterday reaffirmed its view that it was not the right time for company tax cuts, with senator Stirling Griff saying he wanted an “iron clad” guarantee from the government that essential services would not be cut.
Senator Hanson’s backflip comes ahead of the “Super Saturday” by-elections.
One Nation candidate Matthew Stephen will contest the Queensland seat of Longman, which is held by Labor on a slim margin of 0.8 per cent.
Senator Hanson, who supported the corporate tax package in March, told The Australian she was unconvinced that the slow phase-in of the corporate tax cuts to 2026-27 would stimulate job creation, one of the key reasons she previously backed the package.
“The whole fact is, if they’re serious about this, then start doing something about it now … This government is talking about it six or eight years down the track. Well, that’s not good enough,” Senator Hanson said.
“The people in general don’t want it. It has not been well received. The government has not been able to sell the package to the people and they haven’t cut through.”
The only way for the government to have a chance of winning back Senator Hanson’s support would be to implement a dramatic overhaul of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax and commit to a new gas pipeline connecting the west and east coasts.
Senator Hanson said yesterday she was disappointed the pilot apprenticeship scheme she negotiated with the government in return for supporting the corporate tax cuts did not appear in the budget papers.
“My main concern is that we wanted to create jobs, which we did with the apprentice scheme and also to get revenue into the country to pay down debt,” she said.
“Upon reflection, in the budget, the government has done absolutely nothing. I couldn’t see anything there about the thousand-place apprenticeship scheme.”
Tapping into the Coalition’s internal war on energy policy, Senator Hanson argued that one of the reasons she was pulling her support was the government’s failure to provide funding for a new coal-fired power station.
“There is nothing in the budget about a coal-fired power station,” she said. “Unless they start reducing energy prices we are going to lose businesses.”
The government has already legislated the first phase of its enterprise tax plan to pass on relief for businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million, but has not received support for the second stage of the plan to reduce the corporate rate to 25 per cent for all businesses by 2026-27, which will cost $35.6 billion.
With Labor and the Greens opposed to the second stage of the plan, the government needs to win nine of the 11 crossbench votes to pass the package through the parliament — an impossible equation without One Nation on side.
One Nation will stand by the already legislated company tax cuts for companies with a turnover of up to $50m.
Senator Hanson issued a new set of complex demands for the government to regain her support, including the provision of greater assistance for pensioners, lower power prices for consumers and greater efforts to crack down on multinational tax avoidance. One Nation’s demands also include an overhaul of the PRRT, the introduction of a “use it or lose it policy” for gas reserves off the West Australian coast and the new gas pipeline from the west to the east coast.
“There has to be a decent PRRT,” she said. “We need a pipeline from the west coast to the east coast. Unless we get electricity prices down in this country, we are going to see the closure of a lot of businesses.”
The Australian can reveal the full details of the now-defunct secret deal One Nation struck with the government in March to support the company tax cuts, which went well beyond the introduction of the 1000-place apprenticeship pilot scheme.
In a bid to address the GST shortfall for Western Australia, “floating LNG plants” would be forced to supply 15 per cent of their gas to the state under its domestic gas reservation policy or pay the equivalent to the state as a form of royalty. Under the defunct agreement, the government had also agreed to apply a “use it or lose it” policy off the WA coast in a shake-up to the retention lease system, which allows LNG companies to sit on reserves that could be developed sooner by rival companies.
Retention leases are up for renewal every five years and provide security of title for resources that are likely to become commercially viable within 15 years.
The shake-up would have allowed leases to be renewed only if companies moved into development within a year, otherwise they would be returned to the market to drive greater competition.
Senator Hanson had also negotiated a tightening of tax deductions under the PRRT for exploration costs which major companies can bring forward to offset against future income — a move that would have returned $6bn over the forward estimates to the government’s coffers. The PRRT allows exploration costs as a deduction to be taken forward at an “uplift rate” as an offset against future income. The uplift factor is the long-term bond rate plus 15 percentage points. Senator Hanson said this had handed several major companies billions of dollars in effective “tax credits”.
Under the deal, One Nation negotiated, the government agreed to reduce the uplift rate to the long-term bond rate plus 5 percentage points. Companies would need to claim the deductions within a 10-year period.
Senator Hanson’s new demands include action to reduce the migration intake, accusing the government of failing to listen to the Australian people. “Even the states are complaining about the immigration numbers, that they can’t provide the infrastructure,” she said.
She also called on the Prime Minister to “get the banks to pay for this royal commission into the banking sector”.