Peter Dutton will execute the time-honoured “b**ch and fold” strategy over Labor’s revamped income tax cuts, ensuring cost of living relief is locked and loaded for July 1.
The blunt phrase being echoed around Canberra refers to the Liberal party’s decision to run up the white flag on Labor’s broken promise despite days of heavy criticism.
The move is good news for millions of workers.
For a person on the average wage of $73,000, their original tax cut will double to $1500 a year.
A full-time worker earning $100,000 a year will get an extra $800, taking their tax cut to more than $2100.
A family on the average household income of about $130,000 – with one partner earning $80,000 and the other $50,000 – will receive a combined cut of over $2600, more than double what they would have received under the old plan.
The Liberal leader is finalising his position after confirming on Friday that he would not stand in the way of the vast majority of Australian workers scoring a bigger tax cut.
But he is promising to hammer the theme that there is a “liar in the Lodge” over the Prime Minister’s broken promise not to stiff high income earners who have been waiting for a big tax cut for half a decade.
The Liberal Party is expected to announce on Tuesday that the Coalition will not block Anthony Albanese’s revamped stage three tax cuts.
But Mr Dutton will warn that following the Prime Minister’s decision to dump the election promise, nothing is safe – whether it is negative gearing tax breaks for investors, or other previously ruled out reforms.
The decision sets the scene for the Liberal Party to abandon Scott Morrison’s legislated plan for a flat marginal rate of 30 per cent for every dollar earned between $45,000 and $200,000.
Instead, the money will be redirected at delivering bigger tax cuts for those earning under $150,000 a year.
Mr Morrison announced he was quitting politics earlier this year after championing the tax cuts for years.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers told ABC News Breakfast on Monday that the Coalition had “no more excuses” to delay.
“I say to the Coalition, and I say to the Greens, don’t stand in the way of a bigger tax cut for more workers to help with the cost of living,’’ he said.
“No more stumbling around and stuffing around, it’s time for the Coalition, in particular, but also the other crossbench members, to come to a position.
“There are no more excuses.”
Treasury officials conceded on Monday that they didn’t know how many Australians would be paying more tax over the decade as a result of the revamped stage three package.
Treasury and Finance officials also confirmed they were working on plans to dump legislated tax cuts as far back as December – as the Prime Minister and Treasurer insisted they had “no plans” to do so.
The admission emerged during a Senate inquiry on Monday, as Liberal frontbencher Jane Hume grilled officials over how and when the government decided to break a promise not to tinker with the tax cuts for high income earners.
But public servants insisted they had not been “complicit in a lie” and had instead been preparing options for the government in the normal way.
“So when the Prime Minister said on the 21st of December, ‘We are not reconsidering our position,’ you actually were reconsidering?’’ Senator Hume asked.
But Department of Finance First Assistant Secretary Anna Harmer said it wasn’t clear until January that the government was preparing to move.
“It was clear to us the government may not even consider our advice or entertain our advice,” she said.
Newspoll confirms that a majority of voters have backed Mr Albanese’s decision to scrap the legislated stage three tax cuts and redirect relief from higher to lower income workers.
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