TAX OPPOSITION: Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson is railing against the federal government's plans for a $65b corporate tax cut.
TAX OPPOSITION: Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson is railing against the federal government's plans for a $65b corporate tax cut. Leighton Smith

Claims only 8 CQ businesses will benefit from $65B tax cut

ONLY eight businesses in Capricornia would benefit from the Federal Government's $65 billion corporate tax cut, according to Labor Candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson.

After discovering new data from the Federal Parliamentary Library, Mr Robertson and Queensland Senator Murray Watt have called on Capricornia MP Michelle Landry to pull her support for her party's big business tax cut after discovering it would have little benefit for her electorate of Capricornia.

"The official figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show that only eight businesses based in Capricornia will share in the LNP's windfall for big business,” the Labor politicians said.

"These figures put the lie to Michelle Landry's claim that the tax cut will deliver higher wages and more jobs locally.”

The government was expected to renew a push to secure Senate numbers to pass the long-touted legislation.

Corporations with a turnover of more than $50 million in 2018/2019 are taxed at 30 per cent, but the government planned to reduce this to 25 per cent by 2026/2027, with gradual decreases in the rate starting from 2018/2019.

READ: Wages to rise, but you'll need to be patient

But there have been questions raised about the wisdom in pursuing this tax cut strategy and whether higher profits would lead to increased business investment, jobs and wage growth or whether companies would simply absorb the profits to increase their bottom line and deliver greater returns to their shareholders.

The Labor politicians said there were thousands of small businesses in Capricornia that wouldn't be helped by these tax cuts.

TAX OPPOSITION: Labor's politicians are waging war on the federal government's plans for a $65b corporate tax cut.
TAX OPPOSITION: Labor Senator Murray Watt said only eight businesses in Capricornia would benefit from the federal government's planned $65b corporate tax cut. Leighton Smith

"Even Ms Landry has admitted that small business is the most important employer in her electorate, saying that 'small business is the engine room of the economy',” they said.

"There are over 9700 small businesses in Capricornia but Malcolm Turnbull and Michelle Landry have decided to give a tax cut to just eight big businesses instead.

"In fact, if Mr Turnbull and Ms Landry's tax cut passes the Senate, local small businesses will face the same company tax rate as big business from interstate.”

Mr Robertson and Mr Watt said with only eight local businesses benefiting, it wasn't good enough, especially since the tax cut is being funded by cuts to local schools, hospitals, training and universities.

READ: Politicians argue on the best way forward for CQ apprentices

TAX OPPOSITION: Labor's politicians are waging war on the federal government's plans for a $65b corporate tax cut.
TAX OPPOSITION: Shadow Minister For Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O'Connor (left), Labor's Queensland Senator Murray Watt, Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Capricornia candidate Russell Robertson believe there a better ways to improve the economy than a tax cut for big business. Leighton Smith

"We already know that hardly any of the benefits of this tax cut for big business will trickle down to households. And now we know that it won't trickle down to local business either,” they said.

"How can Michelle Landry continue to back a tax cut for the big banks after the disgraceful revelations at the banking royal commission?

"Malcolm Turnbull and his yes-woman in regional Queensland Michelle Landry have been caught out. These new figures are just more proof that this tax cut will not help regional Queenslanders.

"They would rather fight for big business than stand up for regional Queensland.”

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry returned fire saying "trying to pull the wool over the eyes of Capricornia families like this is the sort of desperate, shifty behaviour Capricornia voters are used to from Labor”.

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry at the Tropical Pineapple plant outside Yeppoon to announce a job creation package.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the corporate tax cut will help the people of Capricornia in a number of ways. Chris Ison ROK160318cpineapple4

"They are treating CQ voters with contempt,” Ms Landry said.

"The Turnbull Government have already legislated tax cuts for small and medium businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million per year.

"That's 3.2 million businesses across the country, including the local small and medium size businesses of Capricornia, that will benefit from this tax cut.”

She said Labor would use any distortion of reality to try to create a political wedge on this subject but Central Queenslanders know the money they earn is better left in their pocket.

"While it could be suggested there is a limited number of large businesses based in Capricornia, this discussion is not just about these businesses and their headquarters,” Ms Landry said.

"The Bowen Basin is home to hundreds of small to medium enterprises that rely on the work they get from large companies, many of which rank among the world's largest.

"What the Government's corporate tax plan promises is to reduce the amount of money taken out of the economy by government, leaving more money to be spent on developing and operating their businesses.”

Ms Landry said this extra money could go into expanding their operations, leading to more work for more contractors and more jobs, it could go into better returns for shareholders, or it could go into community projects, right across the region.

Michelle Landry talks up infrastructure with Treasurer Scott Morrison
BACKING TAX CUTS: Treasurer Scott Morrison with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry are in favour of the $65b corporate tax cuts.

"Whether you work in a newsagent in Rockhampton, a steel fabrication business in Parkhurst, or a plumber in Moranbah, your opportunity to earn is dependent on the prosperity of the economy and the business you work in. Small business is the "engine room of our economy”, we need to do what we can to ensure they get all the work they can handle, corporate tax cuts play a role in doing so,” she said.

"We have already delivered significant tax savings and continued the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small to medium businesses.

"The next step to ensuring their prosperity is to release some of the tax burden from the big companies they rely on for work.”

She said delivering better returns to shareholders would be a benefit for Central Queensland as well.

"Almost every single Central Queenslander relies on returns from big companies for their retirement savings as part of their Superannuation fund. Every dollar the Government takes out of a company's profit is a dollar a retiree cannot rely on returning to their pocket to help them pay the bills. Is that really something Labor want to do?” Ms Landry asked.

"What we know is that this corporate tax cut will deliver prosperity for all Australians and the effects will be kept on shore.

"The Coalition Government is the first to tackle multinational tax evasion, head-on. Just last year, over $4 billion was added to the Budget because we stopped companies from taking their profits off shore and put in place heavy reprimands for those that did. This measure was rejected by Labor when it was proposed, perhaps they want multinationals to continue to get away with it.

"We are sticking up for the workers of Central Queensland, by getting government out of their pockets so they can get on with what they do best. I hope others can see fit to follow suit.”

The Morning Bulletin has also approached the Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison for comment.