Labor’s Fair Go Budget Plan

This election is a choice – and today Labor will outline our plan to invest in an economy that works for all and builds a fairer nation.

Labor’s Fair Go Budget Plan confirms that a Shorten Labor Government will deliver bigger investments in health and education, fairer taxes, bigger budget surpluses and much-needed cost of living relief.

Labor’s Fair Go Budget Plan will see a budget surplus achieved in 2019-20, the same year forecast in the 2019 Budget, with bigger budget surpluses over the forward estimates and medium term, with $87 billion extra to pay down more debt.

We will make multinationals pay their fair share of tax, and close unfair tax loopholes for the top end of town.

These top end of town handouts are costing the budget $154 billion – representing around $18,600 per Australian household – and into the pockets of the wealthiest.

While most people don’t benefit from these loopholes, every taxpayer pays for them.

At the same time, the Liberals are handing at least $77 billion to the top end of town in income tax handouts, and we know that the Morrison/ Palmer coalition will bring back the $80 billion tax cut for big business and the banks at the first chance they get.

The Liberals have spent six years cutting Medicare, hospitals and schools while trying to give a handout to multinationals. But despite this they have failed to deliver a stronger economy and Budget. Under the Liberals, we’ve seen:

  • Wages growth at record lows;
  • Net debt more than double and gross debt crash through to the half trillion mark;
  • Living standards stagnate;
  • The first per capita income recession in over a decade; and
  • Economic growth slow, with the IMF expecting growth to fall further to 2.1% this year.

A Shorten Labor Government will provide genuine cost of living relief for working Australians and pensioners, not multinational tax avoidance.

We will make important social investments in Medicare, hospitals and schools, nation building infrastructure, and take real action on climate change.

And we will ease the cost of living pressures, including giving the same or bigger tax cuts for ten million Australians and delivering massive cost of living relief for nearly one million Australian families struggling with the costs of child care.

Based on the forecasts and projections in the 2019 Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO), Labor will take to the election a budget that:

  • Achieves a budget surplus in 2019-20, the same year as the government;
  • Delivers budget surpluses over the forward estimates over 40 per cent larger than the government, and bigger surpluses over the medium-term;
  • Achieves strong surpluses of 1 per cent of GDP by 2022-23, four years earlier than the current government trajectory; and
  • Uses the $87 billion in bigger surplus over the medium term to pay down more debt.

This is the social and economic dividend of the tough decisions taken to end and rollback the tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy and the top end of town.

A Shorten Labor Government will look to provide further tax relief to low and middle income Australians once the budget is back in a strong position and the economy can afford it.

Labor’s Fair Go Budget Plan includes a technical assumption that tax receipts will not rise above 24.3 per cent of GDP over the medium-term, meaning that around $200 billion will be available to return bracket creep and provide further tax relief, should circumstances allow.

We will keep taxes low by international standards, with Australia’s tax burden to remain in the bottom third of comparable advanced economies.

Labor’s policies are fully costed and we are funding our priorities through a package of measures to make multinationals pay their fair share and close down loopholes for the top end of town. These include reforms to managing tax affairs, trusts, negative gearing and dividend imputation refundability.

As well as working closely with the independent Parliamentary Budget Office over the last three years, Labor’s costings and final budget position have been signed off by an independent costings panel costing of Dr Michael Keating AC, Professor Robert Officer AM and Mr James MacKenzie.

Labor’s plan will deal with cost of living, strengthen Medicare and build better schools, while at the same time paying down the Liberals’ debt.

It’s a fair, responsible, detailed plan that will present the clear choice at the next election – a fair go with Labor or more of the same cuts and chaos with the Liberals.

Labor’s Fair Go Budget Plan is available at http://www.alp.org.au/labors_fiscal_plan.

/Public Release. View in full here.