Bob Carr, GST, Kim Beazley’s leadership

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June quarter CPI, Labor’s GST roll-back, Liberal Party leadership
July 26, 2000

Bob Carr, GST, Kim Beazley’s leadership

Transcript No. 2000/82





Doorstop Interview


Tuesday, 25 July 2000

5.00 pm

SUBJECTS: Bob Carr, GST, Kim Beazley’s leadership


Are you disappointed Mr Carr actually won’t be coming to Canberra? You seemed

quite excited about that prospect this morning.


Look, Mr Carr’s still got a lot of work to do for Federal Labor. Whether he

physically goes to Canberra or whether he doesn’t, he’s got to sort out their

tax policy. Now, we’ve got two Labor tax policies. We’ve got the Beazley

roll-back policy which is engulfing his leadership, and we’ve got the NSW Right

policy which is run by Della Bosca. Now, the NSW Right either sends their man to Canberra

to sort the policy out or they roll Kim Beazley without sending their man to Canberra. But

one way or another it’s got to be done. See roll-back is now engulfing Kim

Beazley’s leadership. It’s engulfing him. And it’s engulfing him because he

was weak and opportunistic. For two years he thought he could get cheap votes out of

opposing necessary tax reform, it’s now been done, the public knows it’s in the

national interest. The only person who can’t get on board the cart is Kim Beazley.


That’s a bizarre suggestion to make isn’t it though Treasurer to say that a

State Premier should change a Federal policy, you would never suggest that Richard Court

should come over and tell the Federal Liberals.


Well, it’s not bizarre because Della Bosca, Della Bosca said it had to be done.

Della Bosca didn’t just say it had to be done in the Bulletin. Remember this, Della

Bosca went to Kim Beazley after the Federal election and told Kim Beazley then to give up

his useless campaign against GST and then leaked it out to the press that he’d done

it. Now, Della Bosca has got good judgment on these issues because at the last election

when Kim Beazley said Labor’s policy was to rack up capital gains tax, it was Della

Bosca who told him he was wrong, Della Bosca was right, and after the election Beazley

agreed with him. Della Bosca was right on GST. And now it’s a question of how long is

it going to take before Beazley agrees with him.


Is this the issue that’s been taxing Federal Cabinet all day, whether Bob

Carr’s going to Canberra?


No, what the Federal Cabinet’s been working on all day is strategy to keep

Australia strong, to keep our economy strong and to ensure that we create more jobs for

Australians and we give homebuyers the opportunity to buy homes with historically low

interest rates. But tax reform is a big part of that and we can’t for the life of us

figure out why Beazley opposes tax reform. Now, and I make this point, if the Labor Party

is really against GST, simple question, why won’t they repeal it? It can be done very

easily. You know, back before the 30th June there were two countries in the

world that had wholesale sales tax, they were Swaziland and Australia. And the ALP could

take us back to Swaziland’s tax system. They could do it. It could be done very

easily. But they won’t do it because they know tax reform is necessary for Australia,

in their heart they know it was necessary for Australia, they can’t say it with their

mouth. That’s the problem.


Treasurer, would you support some of the revenues…..


That’s the absolute problem. And so you get people like Della Bosca and Carr, who

are, on these issues much better at understanding than Beazley and they’ve got to try

and make the point. That’s what’s going on here. They’re trying to make the

point to Beazley. There is no future in the Swaziland tax system. Get on board Kim. Get



Would you support some of the revenue from the GST or the further sale of Telstra going

to a transport package to support things like the very fast train?


All of the revenue from GST goes to the States. That’s another reason why Mr Carr

supports the new tax system. And he made a comment the other day, it was a good point I

thought, that with that revenue he could in the future have the option of reducing payroll

tax. That’s what Bob Carr says. So let me make this point, if any roll-back went on,

not only wouldn’t the States have the revenue and couldn’t abolish payroll

taxes, but income taxes would rise. Bob Carr knows that. Because if any roll-back went on

income taxes would rise. When you hear the word roll-back it means roll up income tax

rates. It’s another reason why Bob Carr and Della Bosca are trying to sort out

Beazley’s tax policy. Now, I think you can either sort out the policy or they can

sort out the leadership, its got to be done one way or the other.


Treasurer, was the decision made in Cabinet on the very fast train and Badgery’s



We weren’t making decisions in Cabinet today, we were looking at long-term



And did these issues rise at all?


And in particular the long-term strategy of keeping the Australian economy strong,

creating jobs and making sure we have a good tax system. And the long-term economic

strategy is tax reform, keeping interest rates low, a strong economy and creating jobs.

That’s what we were discussing today. Thanks.