Abolish fringe benefits tax, bring back long lunch: Palmer

PRIME ministerial aspirant Clive Palmer wants to see a return to the good old days of the long lunch, claiming it would give people a chance to "come up with ideas" about the country's future.

The Palmer United Party leader told reporters in Canberra he wanted to abolish the fringe benefits tax on business lunches, a measure introduced by the Hawke government in 1985, as well as reintroduce tax deductibility for such outings.

Mr Palmer said the introduction of the FBT killed the weekday lunch trade, adding the PUP policy would stimulate the restaurant industry, create jobs and get people out of their offices.

"For too long people have stayed ... rabbited in their offices not talking to each other about what can be done," Mr Palmer said.

"If we go back to our economy in the '70s and the '80s we see it was much more vibrant, there were more things happening.

"We want to encourage people to have more interaction, to come up with more ideas about where this country should go."

Mr Palmer said the policy had been costed but would not be drawn on the price tag.

PUP has also proposed slashing the tax rate on second jobs by 50%.

The mining billionaire, who will contest the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax on September 14, was in Canberra to meet with potential candidates.

Mr Palmer said the party would achieve its goal of having candidates in all 150 lower house electorates by the end of the month, even though it has announced candidates for just 40 seats.

Asked if his candidates would have enough time to raise their profiles, Mr Palmer said the party's ideas would be enough to get them across the line.

The party recently announced former rugby league great Glenn Lazarus would head up the party's Senate ticket in Queensland.


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