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Tax credits.



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

STATEMENT BY THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON SIMON CREAN MP

Tax Credits

Tony Abbott’s continuing campaign to implement Labor’s tax credits policy is a welcome recognition on the failure of the Howard Government’s reform agenda and New Tax System to help low and middle income earners.

However, he faces an uphill battle to persuade his colleagues the Prime Minister and Treasurer, who combined to kill-off his first attempt to introduce Labor’s Tax Credit policy.

According to John Howard Tax Credits “especially penalise working women” (press release 15/9/98) and impose higher taxes on retirees: “This idea that your income, because it is from savings, is less worthy of tax reduction than my income because I am in the workforce, is fundamentally wrong. I think it is un-Australian.” (Alan Jones 31/8/98)

Peter Costello is even more scathing about tax credits: “It is a plan to make sure that if you’re in a poverty trap your exits are closed off. And it is particularly hard on working women……It robs anybody of incentive to do additional part time work or to get a promotion. It is, if you are in a low income, a device to trap you there”.(press conference 1/9/98)

Mr Abbott’s persistent attempts to introduce this ALP policy in the face of this outright hostility is welcome recognition of what the ALP has long recognised: Tax Credits deliver targeted assistance to low paid workers and help people off welfare by ending poverty traps.

Tax Credits are good policy and I welcome Mr Abbott’s decision to look to Labor for the solution to his own Government’s policy failings.

MELBOURNE 1 MARCH 2002