Clive Palmer’s response to the 2015 Federal Budget

At a special function in Canberra this week, Clive Palmer delivered his response to the Abbott Government’s second budget. His speech picks apart the budget, just as he did last year when he dismantled the debt myth peddled by the government, forcing them to admit eventually that the economy was in much better shape than they suggested. Below is a transcript of Clive Palmer’s speech on Budget 2015.


Men and women of Australia,

We meet today in a country known for its strength, among people known for their resilience, and we find our nation in need of both, strength and resilience.

The main issue facing Australia today is not just balancing our budget, but what Australians can do to regain Australia’s status as a lucky country.

The Liberal and Labor parties are devoid of ideas. Governments may rise and fall, prime ministers may come and go, but ideas go on forever. Australians want to know – Australians need to know – how their life can be better; how their life can be improved for their families. Not in 30 years’ time, but in our time, now.

Domestic demand is at an all-time low; interest rates are at an all-time low. Not because the economy is doing well, because there is no economic demand. Because our economy is spiraling down and shrinking and our people hold their savings in fear.

People are suffering in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, in the Hunter in New South Wales and Elizabeth in South Australia, Perth, all through Tasmania and the territories. Australians have lost hope in the future. We have to re-establish confidence and lead the nation, not tomorrow, but now.

Australia needs a revolution in the way we think, the way we boost the wealth of the economy not for ourselves, but for all our citizens. We have to re-establish confidence. Not tomorrow, but today. I will examine some of the things we have been able to achieve in parliament.

I will then set the truth free and tell you what the real state of our country is and how our performance compares with the world.

Government finances are different from the state of our economy; the truth will set you free.

Then I will outline what we could become and what we could achieve for everyone in this country.

We are all on ‘Struggle Street’ together and it’s our country and our responsibility to do all we can to make better the lives of all our citizens.

Palmer United’s achievements in 2014/15
• Stopped the GP co-payment
• Stopped changes to universities
• Stopped 10 billion dollar cuts to social security
• Freed over 436 children and families from detention
• Freed 1,500 people in total from Christmas Island
• Resolved over 30,000 cases in detention
• Introduced the (SHEV) Safe Haven Enterprise Visa
• Saved the low income super for over 2 million Australians
• Kept the school kids bonus
• Kept low income support
• Reduced electricity prices by 10 % Australia wide
• Made 15 changes to Direct Action in Senate Amendments
• Passed Direct Action
• Saved the Climate Change Authority
• Saved the Clean Energy Finance Corporation
• Saved ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Authority)
• Saved RET Renewable Energy Target
• Fixed pensions for all veterans and ex-servicemen and women over 55
• Stopped Campbell Newman
• Set up 3 parliamentary inquiries into: –
– Trade Investment and Growth
– Australia Fund
– Qld government
• Abolished carbon Tax
• Abolished mining tax
• Introduced the Bill on the Foreign Death Penalty
• Protected maritime workers jobs
• Proved that Government and community debt was not a problem for Australia
• Cabinet adopted our policy to ban lobbyists from party positions
• Stopped GrainCorp Bill and introduced Private Members Bill
• Electoral reform – pens instead of pencils
• Kept Qantas Australian owned
• Stopped changes to income tax-free threshold
• Stopped financial incentive to sell public assets
• Saved Australian jobs in offshore gas industry
• Stopped slashing of university research grants

Australia 2015

Economic Resilience – real GDP growth.

Over two decades of uninterrupted annual economic growth, the Australian economy remained resilient; sustained by sound macro-economic policies, strong institutions and continued demand for hard and soft commodities from Asia.

Australia is the only developed economy to have recorded no annual recessions during the past 23 years, placing it alongside high-growth economies such as China and India.

General government net debt – 2015

Australian Government debt is one of the world’s lowest.

In its October 2014 fiscal monitor, the International Monetary Fund estimated that the Australian government’s net debt would be 16.6% of GDP in 2015, well below the 74.1% forecast for advanced economies.

Actually, it’s only 14% of GDP, less than the 40% under Bob Menzies Government.

The low public sector debt reinforces Australia’s healthy financial position and sound economic credentials, and underpins its strong ratings.

Economic statistics – IMF net debt data. Global significance of Australia’s investment fund assets pool.

The world’s largest pool of funds under management – set for growth. Australia’s pool of Funds Under Management is the third largest in the world and the largest in the Asian region, according to the investment company institute’s worldwide mutual fund assets and flows data.

The global significance of Australia’s Funds Under Management and the maturity of its funds industry underscores its potential to further develop as a regional funds management centre.

Australia’s labour productivity and costs – 1991–2014.

Growth in productivity is outpacing labour costs. Australia has enjoyed a sustained period of labour productivity growth exceeding growth in real wages.

Over Australia’s 23 years of consecutive economic growth, labour productivity has recorded a compound annual growth rate of 1.8% per annum, while real unit labour costs have fallen by 0.5% each year. Australia has experienced particularly strong labour productivity growth over the past two years, with growth of 1.9% in 2012–13 and 2.6% in 2013–14. During this same period, real unit labour costs have broadly remained stable, indicating that the effective cost of labour has remained in line with productivity improvements.

Entry rates into tertiary education – 2012

Australia is a global leader for tertiary education entry rates. Australia has one of the highest entry rates into tertiary type-a education in the world at 102 per cent, including international students. This is well above the OECD average (58%), the USA (71%) and the UK (68%). Australia’s tertiary education entry rate is also much higher than Asian countries such as South Korea (69%), Japan (52%) and China (18%).

The high rates of tertiary education underpin Australians position as the number one developed country in terms of real GDP growth.

Foreign-born population

Australia is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the OECD. The availability of multilingual, culturally diverse and highly skilled personnel means Australia offers access to a workforce well equipped with the cultural understanding and language capabilities to service international businesses in their own languages.

Index of economic freedom world ranking 2014

Australia’s policies create an environment of economic freedom.

Australia ranks third in the 2014 index of economic freedom, a position held for the past six years.

The survey states that ‘openness to global trade and investment is firmly institutionalized, supported by a relatively efficient entrepreneurial framework and a well-functioning independent judiciary.

Australia has a strong tradition of reliable property rights protection, and the legal system is transparent and evenly applied’. It also states that Australia continues to benefit significantly from its transparent and efficient business environment, and open-market policies.

Size of key stock markets in Asia 2014

Australia has the second largest stock market in the Asian region. Australia is also home to the largest liquid stock market in the Asian region outside Japan.

It is the eighth largest in the world with total capital exceeding US $1.12 trillion in September 2014. Australia’s market capitalization of free-floating shares is greater than China’s US $1.06 trillion, double Hong Kong’s US $528 billion and around four times the market capital of Singapore’s at US $261 billion.

Australia’s projected superannuation Assets 2012–2033

Long-term pension pool growth supports future investment opportunities.

Australia’s $1.6 trillion superannuation system is the fourth largest in the world and is a major driver behind Australia’s globally significant funds management industry.

This pool of assets is expected to grow to $7.6 trillion or 180% of GDP over the next two decades. We don’t need to tamper with the pension. Australians provide for their long-term retirement on their own efforts.

To get Australia moving we need to stimulate demand.

Reducing company tax by 1.5% does not stimulate the economy. You have to make a profit before you pay tax. Because of low demand and limited money supply the problem is that small businesses are losing profitability. You have to create demand by increasing the money supply. People have to have money to buy goods and services for companies to make a profit and therefore pay tax.

Projected company tax receipts for 2015 will exceed 70 billion dollars. Instead of companies paying tax quarterly in advance based on an estimate, we need to let them pay it yearly. If we keep 70 billion dollars in enterprise’s hands for 12 months, we’ll boost this economy; we know that they can spend it better than government. Australians will create real demand and massive job growth and by doing so wipe off our deficits and make our economy stronger. If individual taxpayers spend 70 billion dollars during the year, even only once, the government gets 10% GST and gets more revenue based on more activity and more wealth creation.

That way we can have better hospitals, better schools and better service from our government. Why should companies pay their tax based on an estimate quarterly in advance on profits they may never make?

Why should the government keep that money in an account, why shouldn’t it be out there circulating in the economy, creating jobs for you, your family and enterprises, why shouldn’t we do that?…and as I said every time that 70 billion dollars is spent, the government gets an extra 7 billion dollars GST. And you know what? At the end of the year they still get the $70 billion as well. If the money just circulates four times before it’s paid to government. The government gets an extra $28 billion plus more group and company tax and pays less for unemployment benefits.

More hospitals, more schools, a rising living standard. Give Australia leadership; increasing our economy and revenue means we can make changes to make Australia’s life better. At current interest rate of 2%, that change will cost approximately $850 million a year in interest, but generate over $30 billion dollars for the nation without any long-term borrowing.

This increase in demand and activity will boost jobs, investment, and small business profits. It will stimulate the economy and create more jobs.

Spending money makes the world go around, creates wealth and makes the pie bigger for all of us to share.

The first $10,000 paid on a home loan each year should be tax deductible. Australians need the dream for every Australian of home ownership and it will make our houses affordable again and for our young people to have a goal to strive for and boost our employment. This will boost the construction industry, increase our home ownership and boost construction activity to satisfy demand, which in turn will increase revenue for the government. By growing demand and government revenue, we can reduce personal income tax by 15% for all Australians.

This will mean the average Australian tax payer will have $2500 extra in their pocket every year. An extra $50 a week. This increase in demand and activity will boost jobs, investment, and small business profits.

It will stimulate the economy and create more jobs. As that extra $2500 circulates in our economy, I estimate that if even ten times the government will get the same amount of revenue as they did from the tax cuts. But money will do what it does best by circulating, creating jobs, looking for the future and giving our citizens hope.

We know our citizens can spend money better than government. Creating more demand, jobs and government revenue every time it’s spent the government will get 10% GST.

For too long Australians have lacked incentive and confidence and felt they cannot help themselves.

We want to change that. We can ignite Australia if we work together.

Australians need incentive. Without incentive, there’s no growth in our economy. Our economy continues to decline, the revenue shrinks, and the government wants to close our schools, privatise our hospitals and turn people away. The lack of incentive for workers is a problem we face in Australia today. Industry must provide incentives for all who serve it.

Australian workers don’t have a second job because of the high rate of taxation. We need to give them an incentive.

Our pensioners are paid one of the lowest pensions in the OECD and their living standard is close to the poverty line. We can change all that if we stimulate our economy we can increase the old age pension by 20% or $150 per fortnight. This step will in itself stimulate demand and create jobs.

President Obama did it in the United States. Europe is stimulating its economy now.

We cannot tolerate Australians dying in the corridors of our hospitals. The cost of health care in the United States is 17% of GDP, still 60,000,000 Americans are not covered. In Australia, government spends around 9%.

We cannot desert the sick and the dying. Medical staff are overworked and hospitals inadequate.

Our medical staff is at breaking point. Australia needs an additional 80 billion dollars in funding for health in the next three years. In the days of Prime Minister Menzies our debts were around 40% of GDP which would still be only 60% of OECD average. We must do whatever needs to be done to fix health once and for all.

The Australian government is the main practitioner of bankruptcy and company liquidations across Australia as companies close, employees lose their jobs, the government loses group tax and people transfer from gainful employment to Centrelink, company taxes are destroyed and taxes to compensate continue to climb. Services spiral down in education and health have to be cut to protect the revenue. Let’s protect the Australian people and jobs.

Let’s protect what the country stands for.

If government stops driving business to the wall, this wouldn’t happen.

Australia needs to restructure the system, to keep the system going to keep people employed productively; to transfer people from gainful employment to unemployment just guarantees misery for all Australians. We need to have a Chapter 11 like they have in the US, when companies fail the business continues so that people and families keep their job.

As government services continue to break down and Australia heads towards a catastrophe, we think we’re helpless and we can’t do anything about it. But Australians can.

We need to provide more funding to education in this country. A free nation can rise no higher than a standard of excellence set in its schools and colleges.

Ignorance, illiteracy, unskilled workers, and school dropouts, these are the failures of an educational system in the past, that breed failures in our social and economic system, such as delinquency, unemployment, chronic dependency, a waste of human resources, a loss of productive power and purchasing, and an increase of tax supported benefits. The loss of only one year’s income due to unemployment is more than the total cost of 12 years education through a high school. Failure to improve our education performance is not only poor social policy it is poor economic policy.

At the start of the last century, only 10% of our adults had a high school education or a university education.

Today, such an education has become a requirement for an increasing number of jobs.

Palmer United will inject an extra $20 billion into the education system in our first three years of government.
It’s time to invest in ourselves.

If we don’t have confidence in ourselves, who will have confidence in us? We must educate our children, our most valuable resource.

We must make it possible for those with talent to go to university but only if those who are educated can find a job. That’s why our ability to compete internationally to expand our exports is so important.

We need to support regional Australia by introducing the zonal taxation system.

This will provide incentive to decentralize Australia and maximize the delivery of services to regional Australia. It will provide incentive in regional areas need to ensure that regional hospitals have a doctor, that regional industries develop for the benefit of their communities and for all Australians.

The Australian Government needs to support Australian industries and ensure that all of its policies put Australia first.

We must encourage Australians to buy Australian produce and the labelling and packaging regime needs to be changed so that Australians clearly know what produce is Australian.

Japan has become the world’s third largest economy by processing Australian resources. You know, the cost of energy is more expensive in Japan and Japan suffers from the tyranny of distance. Wages are also higher, yet Australia sells its mineral resources from $40 to $100 a tonne to the Japanese, they process it in Japan and sell it for $20,000 a tonne. They create exports in Japan, while Australians in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland and even Western Australia go without a job or any hope for themselves.

The Australian government needs to take the leadership on this issue and provide that Australian resources are processed in Australia for the benefit of Australians.

Australia must ensure that minerals from WA and QLD are then processed in NSW, VIC, TAS and SA. We need a real manufacturing industry in areas where we have the economic advantage rather than exporting jobs to China and Japan.

95% of all Australians agree on the same thing, what’s good for them and their community, but Labor and Liberal spend a 100% of the time arguing about those things, creating disagreements and disunity in our country.

Causing division when Australian needs unity.

Causing disruption in our industries when we need a joint effort.

As a great man once said, in the final analysis, we are all mortal, we all live on this one small planet, we all breathe the same air and we all want a good future for our children.

When the ANZACs went overseas, they didn’t go as members of the Liberal party or members of the Labor party, but they went as Australians. We need to put the idea of a class war behind us and unite the nation.

This nation has the strength and potential to live out its heritage and to fulfil the dreams of the ANZACs, to return Australia to be a lucky country, we need to reunite the country to do what’s best for all Australians.

Thank you.