8 February 2024

PM boasts that he's bolstered trust in the public service

| Chris Johnson
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Anthony Albanese and Sarah Ferguson on 7:30

Anthony Albanese on 7.30 selling tax cuts. Image: Screenshot.

Anthony Albanese has restored trust in the public service – just ask him!

The Prime Minister didn’t even have to be asked that question when appearing on the ABC’s 7.30 program following Federal Parliament’s first session for the year on Tuesday (6 February).

He just offered it up.

“One of the things that I’ve done … is to restore the faith in the public service,” he said.

“And I want them to use their full capacity.

“So I’ve had three meetings now with the secretaries of every department, and what I say to them is, ‘we want your ideas’ … I want ideas to come up.”

Mr Albanese was being questioned about his backflip over stage 3 tax cut changes and said the overhaul was necessary due to cost-of-living pressures facing many Australians.

READ ALSO Stage 3 tax-flip gives government a boost on parliament’s first day

But he added that the relevant senior ranks of the Australian Public Service were aware the government was looking at the implications of the legislated tax cuts, and its advice was sought and used.

“They knew, of course, we’ve been for a year looking at what are the cost of living measures that we can take to make a difference,” he said.

“Treasury did work on this. We got the final Treasury documents just on the weekend before the ERC [Expenditure Review Committee] Cabinet meetings and before those processes …

“We hadn’t changed our position until the Cabinet did. And I run a proper Cabinet government, where ministers are encouraged to be in charge of their portfolios, where we treat the public service with respect, where we get better outcomes as a result of using the full capacity of not just the elected politicians but also the public service.

“But also engaging through the structures that we’ve set up to get the private sector, to get civil society, to get those inputs.

“That’s why we did the Jobs and Skills Summit. I want an inclusive government that creates change and takes the community with us on that journey of change.”

The Opposition has agreed to support the government’s changes to stage 3 tax cuts but insists the PM lied to the Australian people by previously saying he wouldn’t change the cuts.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has promised a new tax policy to combat bracket creep, setting the stage for the next federal election to be fought over the economy.

“We are supporting this change not to support the Prime Minister’s lie but to support those families who need help now,” Mr Dutton said on Tuesday.

“Because Labor has made decisions that have made it much harder for those families and that is the position we have adopted as a party room.”

READ ALSO Busy parliament this year and maybe an election

Labor’s changes to the legislated cuts, however, will now successfully pass through the parliament before Easter.

They will provide tax cuts to all Australians, but with higher income earners to receive a lesser break than they would have under the cuts put in place under the former Coalition government.

Mr Albanese said his government was “focused very much on the outcome” and how to impact cost of living pressures “particularly for low and middle income earners” while not putting pressure on inflation.

“When you work through what was available to us, you had $106 billion over the forward estimates, pool of money there,” the Prime Minister said.

“And what we’ve done is, in a revenue-neutral way, reallocate that in a way that’s good for middle Australia, but also doesn’t leave people behind.

“But it’s also good for our national economy because what it will do is boost labour supply by some 930,000 hours a week … We were very much focused on the impact on people, and we know that people are doing it tough out there.”

Original Article published by Chris Johnson on Riotact.

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