Turnbull's new right-hand man wants ABC sold and 15 Percent GST on everything

21 September 2015

Malcolm Turnbull's appointment of James McGrath to the position of Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister signals more of the same extreme, divisive and unfair policies pursued by Tony Abbott.

Instead of adopting a more moderate policy course and appointing sensible assistant ministers, the Prime Minister has promoted the most right-wing Coalition member to this key executive position since Cory Bernardi held it under Mr Abbott.

Senator McGrath's policy positions make Cory Bernardi look like a teddy-bear in comparison.

As recently as July, he has called for a GST rate of 15 percent broadened substantially so that it applies to every single good and service in the Australian economy, bring fresh food, education and health costs into the net.

Combined with his proposal to abolish penalty rates, this would have a devastating impact on Australians on middle and low incomes in particular.

Just last year he called for the total abolition of the health and education departments and for the federal government to wash its hands of responsibilities for universities.

To top it all off, he has also proposed the full privatisation of the ABC and Triple J.

This is the man who now has the Prime Minister's ear.

The PM would like Australians to believe his government will be more moderate than the one he just destroyed, but this appointment shows extreme and divisive views will still be front and centre in the Turnbull Government.




“Taxes on jobs and productivity, such as the payroll tax and company tax, must be abolished and reduced respectively. To cover the states for the loss of income from payroll tax the GST should be broadened to cover everything—and it should also be increased to 15 per cent.”

First Speech – 16 July 2014


“The GST should be broadened to cover all consumption in Australia. The rate of the GST should be increased to 15%.”

Letter to Joe Hockey – 2 July 2015


“We should follow the lead of our Kiwi cousins: broaden the GST to everything and increase its rate to 15%.” 

Speech to the Senate – 17 June 2015'



“I am calling for the abolition of the federal departments of health and education, with universities also to be run at a state level.”

First Speech – 16 July 2014



“And if they fail to make inroads to restore balance, then the ABC should be sold and replaced by a regional and rural broadcasting service. In the meantime, Triple J, because of its demographic dominance and clear ability to stand on its own, should be immediately sold.”

First Speech – 16 July 2014



QUEENSLAND LNP Senator James McGrath has called for the abolition of weekend and evening penalty rates for workers in cafes, restaurants and shops.

In a move that adds to a simmering tension among government backbenchers for urgent changes to workplace laws to help small businesses, Senator McGrath said penalty rates were like a “cyclone” devastating tourism-dependent areas of Queensland’s coast.

“Every weekend in Queensland a mini-cyclone called penalty rates hits our tourism and hospitality industry,” he said. “What happens in a cyclone? Well, the tourists stay away and the shops close. We should be encouraging people to work, not hit employers with penalty rates.”

Courier Mail – 9 September 2014


NAMBOUR-based Queensland Senator James McGrath has called for the removal of penalty rates, in a bid to free up small-business, tourism and hospitality on the Coast.

"The current weekend penalty rates system is impacting Sunshine Coast businesses that see their operating costs increase substantially on weekends, and on locals, many of whom are younger, who are missing out on paid work if the businesses can't afford to open," Senator McGrath said.

"I'm quite sure removing the penalty rates would generally result in more working hours available for existing and new staff."

Sen McGrath said it wasn't the employees to blame, but rather, unions attempting to drive the price of weekend workers up.

"The ideal situation is one that benefits the business owners, their staff and therefore the customers," he said.

"Most staff would be happy to work for ordinary wages on weekends as opposed to missing out on paid hours altogether."

Sunshine Coast Daily – 12 September 2014