Shadow finance minister Jim Chalmers says he is “very, very happy” about the Federal Government vowing to take its company tax package to the next election, claiming voters are “filthy” about the proposal.
Speaking to The West Australian for its Federal politics podcast The Whip, Dr Chalmers said the coalition’s decision to dig in on the tax package would “sharpen the difference” between the two major parties when voters next went to the polls.
“I’m very, very happy going to this election with that being, I think, the defining contrast between Labor and Liberal,” he said.
“If you go out in the community, the Government’s economic agenda is not well supported. They are absolutely filthy about it.”
The Government has indicated it is prepared to fight the next election over the issue of business tax cuts, even though the Senate looks likely to again vote down the full $65 billion package.
Dr Chalmers said while he thought the decision to forge ahead with tax cuts for business was “horrific” given the state of the Budget, politically it would be a gift for Labor.
“I think the more they talk about this company tax cut, the worse off they’ll be in the community,” he said.
“The idea that big foreign multinational companies and the big four banks deserve a multibillion-dollar tax cut at the same time as the Government is jacking up income taxes on middle Australia drives people absolutely wild.”
While the coalition has vowed to fight for the tax package, which it says will boost business investment, jobs and wages, the Opposition has remained coy on its plans for the business tax relief already legislated.
It has said it supports tax cuts for businesses with a turnover under $2 million, but Parliament has ticked off on relief for small and medium-sized businesses with a turnover up to $50 million.
Dr Chalmers said Labor was examining the issue and would make its position on the $30 billion in tax cuts already passed clear before the next election. It was “going through the numbers”, he said. “I think the best way to understand it is, yes for genuinely small, no to genuinely massive.”
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