26 January 2024

PM to tell us what he really thinks about stage 3 tax cuts

| Chris Johnson
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Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will unveil his economic proposal at the National Press Club today. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Anthony Albanese will use his address to the National Press Club today (25 January) to outline his plan to help ease cost-of-living pressures – a plan that will involve changes to legislated stage 3 tax cuts the Prime Minister has previously and repeatedly vowed to keep intact.

Cabinet has already signed off on the PM’s proposal and the Labor caucus was presented with the plan yesterday.

The rest of Australia will hear about it today, but the Opposition is determined to fight any changes to the tax arrangements former prime minister Scott Morrison made law and were set to kick in this July.

Mr Albanese would not reveal details when quizzed by the media yesterday about his economic plan, but he has been hinting at tweaking the tax cuts for some days now.

The plan is likely to spread the tax cuts more evenly, which means not handing high-income earners as much of a break as they had been promised.

Treasury advice will also be released today.

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“This proposal will be all about supporting middle Australia,” the Prime Minister said.

“We know there are cost of living pressures on middle Australia and we’re determined to follow the Treasury advice to provide assistance to them.

“My determination and my job is to get the best outcome for Australians. It’s to respond to the circumstances which we confront. And we know that there’s been considerable coverage about the pressure that is on low and middle-income earners, particularly with regard to cost of living …

“I’ll be giving a full exposition of economic policy and our response to provide assistance to middle Australia on cost of living at the National Press Club … And one of the things that we will be releasing … is the Treasury advice. It makes for good reading about the options that are available to provide assistance when there are cost of living pressures on people.

“Now, I noticed our opponents have not waited to see any detail to see what the proposal is. They’re just against it. Like they’re against everything.”

In an interview with Sky News, Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor described the government’s yet-to-be-revealed economic proposal as an “egregious betrayal” of the Australian people.

“The Prime Minister and Treasurer [Jim Chalmers] lied to the Australian people over 100 times by saying they were committed to these tax cuts,” he said.

“They’ve gone to two elections and the Prime Minister and Treasurer have both voted for these tax cuts.

“So there are many Australians out there who are working on the basis that they’re proceeding. And now we learn they are not. And it is clear now that over 100 times, we were lied to.

“Now, these tax cuts are enormously important to give aspirational Australians, those who are working hard to get ahead, the certainty they need to know that they can keep 70 cents in the dollar across the broad range of tax brackets they might encounter.

“At least 70 cents in the dollar. And that’s crucially important to grow the economy and to bring inflation under control. You’ve got to reward aspiration. You’ve got to provide incentives for people to invest, to take risks, to work hard.”

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Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley said Mr Albanese had won last year’s election on a lie.

“I remember him looking straight into the eyes of the Australian people and saying, ‘My word is my bond and I won’t change the stage 3 tax cuts’,” she said.

“What’s so disappointing is it’s not about economics, it’s not about an economic plan, it’s all about the politics.”

Mr Albanese has suggested this week that everyone might get a tax cut under his new proposal.

That in itself would mean changes to the stage 3 tax cuts as they did not include relief for anyone earning below $45,000 a year.

Other speculation involves keeping the top tax-free threshold at $180,000 instead of letting it rise to $200,000 as had been legislated.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus welcomed the prospect of the stage 3 tax cuts being changed, saying Australians had been hit hard by cost-of-living pressures.

“We need this action because the current stage 3 tax cuts are blatantly unfair,” she said.

Original Article published by Chris Johnson on Riotact.

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