CANBERRA, Australia — As Anthony Albanese puts the final touches on Labor’s budget in reply speech, it is not expected from him to deliver a decision on tax cuts that are legislated to begin in 2024.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says the opposition has yet to make up its mind on whether a Labor government would allow the so-called stage three cuts to go through.
The cuts lower the 32.5 percent and 37 percent marginal tax rates to 30 percent and flatten the tax structure for people earning between AU$ 45,000 ($34,764) and AU$200,000 ($154,508).
Anthony Norman Albanese is an Australian politician serving as Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Australian Labor Party since 2019. He has been a Member of Parliament for Grayndler since 1996.
They were bundled together with other tax changes that passed parliament in 2019.
“We said at the time, and we have said ever since it didn’t make a lot of sense for the government to commit tens of billions of dollars to the highest income earners some years down the track,” Chalmers said on May 12.
“Our view has been vindicated by the fact the government since making that announcement has racked up one trillion dollars in debt.”
He said Labor was in no rush to make a decision as the stage three cuts don’t come into effect for three years.
Even so, the government is trying to use Labor’s indecision as a political foil.
“The budget was only handed down two days ago and the government’s already running around talking about the Labor Party — the budget sell can’t be going too well,” Chalmers said.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s budget extended the low and middle-income tax offset (LMITO) for another year, providing a tax benefit of up AU$1080 ($834) a year.
Chalmers said Labor wanted to see the LMITO extended, saying it made no sense for middle Australia to get a tax hike.
“All the government has done is to delay that until the other side of the election,” he said.
“These additional tax cuts for lower-middle-income earners are temporary, but the big tax cuts for the highest income earners are permanent and forever.” He said Labor would consider making the offset permanent as part of a broader consideration of tax relief.
Chalmers has been serving as shadow treasurer since 2019. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2013, representing the Division of Rankin in Queensland for the Australian Labor Party (ALP).
(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Ritaban Misra)
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