PM stands by tax cut changes for ‘every Australian’

Maeve Bannister |

The government will introduce legislation for tax changes when parliament resumes in February.
The government will introduce legislation for tax changes when parliament resumes in February.

Anthony Albanese has ruled out an increase to welfare payments in exchange for crossbench support to ensure the passage of the government’s proposed changes to stage three tax cuts.

Under a reworked scheme unveiled by the prime minister on Thursday, anyone earning less than $150,000 will receive a larger tax cut while those earning more are in line for a smaller benefit than previously promised.

The changes to the original stage three tax cuts that were first implemented by the coalition will need to pass parliament before they are due to come into effect in July, with the government needing the support of the Greens and crossbench.

The prime minister has been criticised for breaking his original tax promise to higher income earners but said he stood by the proposed package which would deliver a tax cut to “every Australian”. 

“We know that low and middle-income Australians are under financial pressure (and) it’s a responsibility of the government to do something about it,” he told reporters in Orange on Saturday.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Anthony Albanese says everyone earning less than $150,000 will receive a larger tax cut from July. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS)

“That’s why the government has changed our decision … because of the persistence of inflation.

“We’re determined to do something about it, we have made the right decision for the right reasons.” 

But Mr Albanese said the government would not be renegotiating welfare payment rates in exchange for parliamentary support for the changes. 

“What we have targeted here is middle Australia who are doing it tough, those middle-class working families who are doing it tough because of rising inflation and cost of living, this program is aimed directly and squarely at them,” he said.

“Every budget we give consideration (to welfare rates), but what we’re not going to be doing here is trading.”

The government is expected to introduce legislation for the tax changes when parliament returns for the year in the first week of February. 

AAP