Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor has welcomed reports from Englishheadline Australia that the government will not amend the legislated stage three tax cuts.
Political Editor Andrew Clennell on Sunday revealed any change to the tax cuts in the October 25 is now “extremely unlikely” after backlash.
Government MPs such as Mike Freelander and Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh have spoken out against breaching the election promise to keep the cuts which would affect all Australians on $45,000 or more.
While acknowledging the news, Mr Taylor said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese must stand up and make it clear the cuts won’t be changed.
“I welcome the news, but we do need to see Anthony Albanese ruling out dropping the tax cuts,” he told Englishheadline Australia.
“Dropping these tax cuts or doing what they’ve been talking about over the last couple of weeks would be – make no mistake about it – a war on aspiration.”
Under the stage three tax plan the 37 per cent tax rate will be scrapped all together with those Australians earning between $45,000 and $200,000 moved to the new 30 per cent bracket.
The existing sliding tax scale sees Australians earning more than $180,000 taxed 45 cents to the dollar, and those pulling in between $120,000 and $180,000 on tax rate of 37 per cent.
The tax cuts, which were passed by the Coalition when in government, are due to come into effect in July 2024.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers sidestepped confirming whether the government would amend the massive tax cuts during the week – expected to cost up $20 billion a year – but has warned economic pressures have worsened in recent weeks.
He said the government shared the concerns of the International Monetary Fund which warned overnight of risks of global recession.
“The backdrop for the budget that I hand down in less than three weeks’ time will be high inflation and rising interest rates, a deteriorating global economy, and persistent structural pressures on the budget which will not be compensated for by higher commodity prices,” the Treasurer said on Friday.
Mr Taylor reminded the Labor government of the pledge it took to the election, accusing Mr Albanese of going “missing in action” during the tax debate this week.
“The truth of the matter, they’ve been legislated. Labor committed, alongside us, before the last election not to drop these stage three tax cuts and yet we’ve seen for weeks now this debate running and Anthony Albanese has refused to rule out dropping the tax cuts,” he said.
“It’s encouraging that I hear that but it doesn’t count until Anthony Albanese has stood up and rule them out.
“He’s been missing in action on this.”
Mr Chalmers will head to Washington DC to meet with foreign counterparts before returning to deliver his first Budget.
He warned that Australia won’t be spared from a global recession and this trip ahead of the October 25 Budget will be “valuable” – having previously urged people to be “realistic” about the upcoming budget as pressures are “intensifying rather than easing”.
“I don’t think that Australians should expect the budget that I hand down in October to have a surplus in any of the forward years,” Mr Chalmers said during a press conference.
“I would encourage people not to anticipate a surplus budget … the situation is more difficult than that.”