A social media storm has embroiled Bass Labor MHR Ross Hart after he appeared on a Tasmanian radio program.
Mr Hart appeared on talk-back show Tasmania Talks and was grilled by the show’s host Brian Carlton on whether he supported a decision by federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten on tax cuts policy.
Mr Carlton asked Mr Hart several times whether he supported Mr Shorten’s decision to repeal tax cuts for small to medium businesses, if Labor were to win the next federal election.
Mr Hart refused to endorse the policy for long parts of the interview on Wednesday morning, insisting he wanted companies to post good profits but side-stepping questions about the tax policy.
Mr Hart admitted the major decision did not go to the Labor caucus or the shadow cabinet, calling it a “captain’s call” and telling Mr Carlton he would rather talk about it “another time”.
“In case there’s any doubt, I absolutely support our position on company tax,” Mr Hart told The Examiner on Wednesday.
“I’ve always backed tax cuts for small business – and big business should not get tax cuts that are funded by Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to schools and hospitals”.
The incident was also spoken about in Parliament, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull describing the interview as a “cry for help” from an MP who did not support his leader.
However, Mr Hart has also renewed his support for Mr Shorten.
“Tasmania and Australia need a Labor Government with Bill Shorten as Prime Minister, because only Bill has a plan for better schools, better hospitals and better income tax cuts,” he said.