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Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison has said that he hopes it will not take a recession to "spur" parliament into accepting the company tax cuts the country needs.
Morrison was asked during an interview with ABC radio if Australia is heading for a recession, following the publication of data that showed that real GDP contracted by 0.5 percent in the September quarter. He replied that "that is not the sort of alarmist thing that people should be leaping to," and said that the Government's economic policies are driving investment.
Morrison said statistics showing low wages growth and company profitability are "a wake-up call... that economic policy [should] focus on things that will help businesses give people more hours so they can earn more and that companies can earn more as well."
"That is what our company tax cuts do," he argued.
The interviewer then prompted Morrison as to whether a recession could help the Government mount its political case for company tax reforms. Morrison replied: "I would certainly hope that it would not be necessary for that sort of terrible result to spur the parliament and others into accepting the important changes that we need."
"One of those is a lesser tax burden on businesses, particularly small businesses, which is where our tax cuts start so they can give people more hours."
The Government has proposed a "ten-year enterprise plan" to cut the company tax from 30 percent to 25 percent by 2026-27.
Morrison said that he had been discussing the proposals with Senate crossbenchers, but was not prepared to let the Labor Party "off the hook" on the issue. He added that Labor Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen "are on the record for supporting these changes," and claimed that "the only reason they don't support them now is just pure, cynical, wreck-the-joint politics."
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