Tensions are rising in cabinet between Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers amid reports the Prime Minister is “sh*tty” that he is copping the blame for the broken promise on tax cuts.
Labor sources have told Sky News that Mr Albanese is unhappy with Mr Chalmers over a backlash after the Stage 3 changes that slashed tax cuts for high income earners in half.
The Prime Minister has been spruiking the tax changes this week that deliver bigger and better tax cuts for low and middle income earners.
After shutting down earlier attempts by the Treasurer to revamp the tax cuts to deliver a bigger tax cut for low and middle income earners, Mr Albanese is reportedly miffed that he is bearing the political brunt of the broken promise, and not his treasurer.
It follows long-running talk in Labor circles that Mr Albanese lavishes praise on Foreign Minister Penny Wong but belittles his treasurer who remains a future leadership aspirant.
The Prime Minister has long been regarded as reluctant to backflip on the tax changes, which Treasurer Jim Chalmers has opposed for years internally since they were unveiled by the Coalition five years ago.
“Tensions are rising for the obvious reason that Jim is doing well and Albo can see that and is annoyed by it,‘’ Sky News’ Sharri Markson reported this week.
“In the Labor caucus, the Prime Minister has been known to lavish praise on Penny Wong and Richard Marles and even Don Farrell, but has thanked Mr Chalmers further down his list of acknowledgments, and at times it’s “Jim and Katy” rather than singling out the Treasurer himself.
“This has been a ham-fisted attempt at trying to put Chalmers in his box, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed within Labor, raising a few eyebrows.”
It follows the demotion of Tanya Plibersek, another future leadership prospect, who was previously touted as a leadership option on a joint ticket with the Treasurer before the last election.
Dr Chalmers has accused the Liberal leader Peter Dutton of “stuffing around” on whether or not the Liberals will back the changes.
“I think Peter Dutton is stuffing around and stumbling around [and] looking for all kinds of excuses not to support our bigger tax cuts for more people to deal with the cost of living,” the Treasurer said.
“We’ve seen them [the Coalition] flailing about and fumbling about in recent days and what we’re left with is the only definitive statement that’s been made. [Deputy Liberal leader] Sussan Ley was asked ‘will you unwind Labor’s tax cuts’ and she said ‘absolutely’.”
“This point about the legislation is once again the LNP looking for excuses to do the wrong thing by people.
“They know what these tax cuts are all about; we’ve made the detail very clear; we’ve been explaining why we’ve come to a different and better position; we’ve been upfront about what it means for workers in communities like this one.”
Mr Dutton will convene a shadow cabinet meeting on Monday, to thrash out a formal position ahead of Liberal and joint-Coalition party room meetings Tuesday.
Peter Dutton has confirmed for the first time on Friday that he won’t stand in the way of tax relief for low and middle income earners.
The Liberal leader’s confirmation he’s ready to negotiate on delivering the $313 billion in tax cuts ensures they are likely to pass parliament this month.
Two Liberal MPs – Bridget Archer and Karen Andrews – have told news.com.au they do not believe the Liberal Party should block the tax cuts on principle.
Speaking today on Channel Nine Mr Dutton insisted he wouldn’t block the tax cuts.
“Well, no, we’re not,” he said. “We’re working through the figures. There are big numbers here. And our argument is that there should be incentive in the system.
Mr Dutton was then asked: “So you’re not going to stand in the way of these changes as a party.”
“Very clear, very clear that Liberal Party is the party of lower taxes,” he replied.
“We always have been. We always will be because we manage the economy more.”
Read related topics:Anthony Albanese