One Nation senator Brian Burston says he will support the government’s $35.6 billion company tax cuts, in direct opposition to his leader Pauline Hanson’s authority.
Senator Burston says Ms Hanson’s about-face to withdraw support for the package, after initially agreeing to back them, has blindsided him and he is a “very principled person” who will honour the deal with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann in March.
“I don’t want to cause any angst or division in One Nation, but once I make a handshake with somebody – that’s it. I stick to my word,” Senator Burston told The Australian newspaper on Thursday.
Senator Cormann insists the government remains committed to the deal it struck with One Nation.
“The government is very appreciative of the fact that Senator Burston has announced that he will stick to the agreement that was reached,” he told reporters.
He again rejected senator Derryn Hinch’s idea to cap the tax cuts to businesses with an annual turnover of up to $500 million, so the big banks would be exempt.
The government has 31 senators and needs 39 votes to pass its legislation.
The minister implored Labor to change its mind on the cuts, insisting jobs are created by successful and profitable businesses.
“My message to Bill Shorten is – jobs don’t grow on trees,” he said.