In his address at the National Press Club on Mon 2.2.2015, the Prime Minister announced that a “bigger parental leave scheme is off the table”.

He also announced that the Government is working on a small-business and jobs package. He said at the heart of that package will be a small business company tax cut on 1 July 2015 – “at least as big as the 1.5% already flagged”.

Mr Abbott said: “Our problem is not that taxes are too low; our problem is that government spending is too high”.

He said the Government will also be inviting “constructive debate across the political spectrum on all options for a better tax system to deliver taxes that are lower, simpler and fairer”. The PM said the Government won’t pre-empt the outcome by ruling things in or out before the process has properly begun.

The PM said the GST cannot and will not change unless all the States and Territories agree. “It can’t and won’t change unless there is political consensus. That means – leaving aside any minor administrative changes – that the base and the rate of the GST won’t change this term or next unless it’s supported” by Labor.

[LTN 20, 22//15]