Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 15 June 2005
Page: 13


Senator MURRAY (10:21 AM) —I seek leave to table the Democrats’ comparison with the government’s tax cuts.

Leave granted.


Senator MURRAY —The government will want to know our position with respect to the aggregate amendments of the Labor Party. In examining the consequence of an alternative proposal, we have to have regard to our own objectives as a party, in terms of both our policy and our beliefs. I have made it clear that we have a structural view which includes tax cuts for high-income earners but at a later stage of the game. Our main concern has been the government’s priorities. I suspect that the government know that they have to attend to the needs of low- and middle-income earners more than they have done to date but believe that at this time in the electoral and budget cycle they should probably jump the high-income earner hurdle first. I think that is a political choice, but my concern is with a policy choice, not a political choice.

In examining the alternative proposal of the Labor Party I had to boil it down to whether the consequence of it was better for low- and middle-income earners than the government’s proposal was. Our priority is, of course, low- and middle-income earners. So I drew up a little table and I will give a summary of it. For persons on an annual income of $10,000, the government’s tax cut is effectively $1.54 a week; Labor’s tax cut, which includes the low-income rebate—which, of course, is the key element in their package which improves things—is $8.56; and the Democrats’ tax cut is $13.08. On an annual income of $20,000, the government’s tax cut leaps to $5.38 a week, Labor’s remains at $8.56 and ours is $13.08. On an annual income of $30,000, the government’s tax cut is $6 a week, Labor’s is $15.46 and ours is $13.08.

On an annual income of $40,000, the government’s tax cut remains at $6, Labor’s is $12—the fall is due to the way in which the tax offset bleeds out—and ours is $13.08. On an annual income of $50,000, the government’s tax cut is $6 a week, Labor’s is $12 and ours is $13.08. On an annual income of $60,000, the government’s tax cut is $6 a week, Labor’s is $12 and the Democrats’ is $13.08. It is only for the income bands of $70,000 up—in fact, earlier than that if you do not go in big jumps of $10,000 income—that the government’s tax cut is markedly more than Labor’s and a great deal more than ours. We will be supporting Labor’s alternative proposal for tax cuts not because we think it is better than ours but because we think it is better for low- and middle-income earners, at least for those earning below $60,000 income per annum, than what the government is offering, and that is consistent with our approach and views.