Majority support tax cuts for lower earners: poll

Stage-three tax cuts

Nearly three in five voters across all demographics support tax cuts for “middle Australia”, according to a poll that came as Opposition Leader Peter Dutton stalls on whether to support the changes.

Asked by the Australia Institute in late January about the government’s changes to the looming stage-three tax cuts, 58 per cent of voters supported middle to low-income earners benefiting more.

Only one in four Coalition voters and a third of Australians earning more than $200,000 a year wanted to keep the policy as originally legislated by the Morrison government.

Far fewer respondents supported repealing the tax cuts entirely, with almost a third saying they weren’t sure or didn’t know.

Richard Denniss, executive director of the Australia Institute, said it was an indication voters in all tax brackets in the 1017-strong survey recognised the original scheme as “bad economic policy”.

“Australians need the government of the day to respond to our current economic realities. That is what the government has done,” Denniss said.

The Coalition’s shadow cabinet discussed the tax overhaul at a meeting on Tuesday in Perth, but Dutton insisted he was not planning on making an announcement this week.

“I think there is a lot to play out in relation to this debate, and I think Australians have been staggered by the fact that their Prime Minister looked them in the eye and bluntly lied to them,” Dutton said.

“We’ll have an announcement in due course.”

Dutton is under increasing pressure from his own side not to stand in the way of Labor’s $359 billion tax package.

The Albanese government is also ramping up its fight and will reportedly release analysis on Wednesday showing 85 per cent of taxpayers in Liberal and Nationals electorates would be better off.

The opposition has criticised the government for breaking an election promise, but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese maintains the cuts have been amended for “the right reasons”.

Under the tweaked scheme, tax relief has been redistributed so benefits are skewed toward lower and middle-income-earners, with a benefit of about $1500 for someone on $73,000 a year.

Those in higher tax brackets will get $4500 in relief each year – halved from $9075 under the original legislation.

Wealthy still benefit

Independent teal MPs like Allegra Spender, who represent some of Australia’s wealthiest electorates, are still canvassing their constituents.

But Spender maintains the government should have a broader conversation on tax reform. She will expand on her points when she and Denniss address the National Press Club on Wednesday.

However, analysis from the Parliamentary Budget Office requested by the Greens suggests it would still disproportionately benefit the rich.

In the first year of the new tax cuts, the top 20 per cent of Australian earners will receive 50 per cent of the benefits – about $11.7 billion – while the bottom 20 per cent will collect $100 million or 0.4 per cent of the savings.

Those who earn more than $180,000 a year will have taken a quarter of the entire $318 billion package by 2034.

Analysis has also found women will receive 42 per cent of the benefits, while men get 58 per cent.

The Greens are yet to reveal whether they will support the amended tax cuts but party leader Adam Bandt said the current proposal would increase inequality.

“The numbers don’t lie,” he said.

“These Liberal-lite tax cuts still benefit the wealthy and leave everyday people behind.”

The money could instead go to public schools, expanding Medicare or addressing other cost-of-living pressures, Bandt said.

-with AAP

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.