Earth to Anthony Albanese: Labor lost the election, now it’s time to support the Coalition’s tax cuts in full.
On May 18, the Australian people voted for the Coalition’s tax cuts, not Labor’s $387 billion of higher taxes.
It was a clear point of difference between the parties during the campaign. Values drove our policy, with Liberals and Nationals wanting to put more money in people’s pockets, reward effort and encourage aspiration.
This was a message that resonated loudly with Scott Morrison’s “quiet Australians” but has yet to be heard by Labor.
This after Labor received its lowest primary vote in one hundred years.
While the Leader of the Opposition and his Treasury spokesman claim to have been on a listening tour to find out the reasons why Labor lost the election, it’s clear they haven’t been listening.
Our tax cuts provide both shortterm relief and long-term reform.
Australians earning up to $126,000 a year will receive up to $1080 with more than ten million Australians better off.
This means a couple, say a teacher and a tradie, each earning $60,000 a year, will get $2160 in their family wallet.
This tax relief will boost household incomes and ultimately household consumption, which will be good for the economy according to none other than the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe.
The longer-term structural reform will see one big tax bracket created for those earning between $45,000 and $200,000 a year, where the marginal rate of tax will be 30 cents in the dollar.
Someone who moves up the income scale getting a promotion, working more hours or taking a second job will under these reforms get protection from bracket creep.
These changes will create a flatter, simpler tax system where 94 per cent of Australians will pay a marginal rate of tax of no more than 30 cents in the dollar, which compares to just 16 per cent if stages two and three of our tax package didn’t go through.
Significantly, while the Labor leadership is yet to concede the benefits of our full tax plan, there are those on the front and backbench who have started to break ranks.
Labor MP Peter Khalil has said that: “we shouldn’t be blocking tax cuts for working and middle class Australians”.
Shadow Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has said “you can’t deny the punters a tax cut from opposition”.
So now is the Leader of the Opposition’s moment of truth.
He needs to break with Bill Shorten’s losing strategy and not deny millions of Australians the tax cuts they voted for.
Josh Frydenberg is Treasurer of Australia.
Opinion Piece originally published in The Daily Telegraph (25 June 2019)