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Albanese upbeat about Senate passing revised tax-cut package

PM Anthony Albanese tax package hangs on the cooperation of crossbenchers.

PM Anthony Albanese tax package hangs on the cooperation of crossbenchers. Photo: TND

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remains confident changes to stage three tax cuts will be passed into law, despite needing the support of crossbenchers to pass on the financial relief.

Under the reworked tax plans, those earning less than $150,000 a year will get a bigger tax cut, while those earning more will receive a smaller tax break than in the original plan taken to the 2022 election.

The Prime Minister said changes were needed to the tax plans, first legislated by the Coalition government in 2019, following cost-of-living pressures and higher-than-expected inflation.

While the tax changes will need the support of Senate crossbenchers to be legislated before the cuts come into effect in July, Mr Albanese said he was hopeful the plan would pass parliament.

“We will put it to the Senate, and I’m very confident that people will look at the two plans which are there, one of which leaves a whole lot of people behind … we’ll give (average earners) double the tax cut. We are determined to argue our case,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

‘A responsibility to show strength’

“We are putting our plan to the parliament, and we are hopeful of getting support.”

The Prime Minister has come under criticism from the Opposition for the changes to the stage three tax cuts, after previously committing to the original package.

But he said the changes were needed due to the economic circumstances.

“I have a responsibility to show strength, and one of the things that I’ve said is that this isn’t an easy decision, but it’s the right decision,” he said.

“We’re being very cautious about spending, because the challenge for us is to assist people in the immediate without being counterproductive, and if just increase spending then it can be counterproductive.”

Mr Albanese said no consideration was made to alter the tax cuts ahead of the May 2023 budget, and that cabinet had agreed to the proposal on Tuesday.

Mr Albanese flagged consideration would be made for further cost-of-living support measures ahead of the 2024 federal budget.

Opposition weighing options

The Opposition has yet to state whether they would repeal the proposed stage three changes should they form the next government.

Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said the Opposition would examine the legislation to determine its stance.

“Our position is that the tax relief everyone was promised under stage three, that tax relief is what people should get,” she told Sky News.

“We will look at whatever comes in front of us … we have to go through the fine print on everything. We have to look very carefully at all of the numbers because what this is is a lifetime tax on aspiration.”

-AAP

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