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The only thing Howard and Costello agree on.



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Wayne Swan MP Federal Labor Shadow Treasurer

14 May 2005

THE ONLY THING HOWARD & COSTELLO CAN AGREE ON

Revelations today that the Prime Minister and the Treasurer agreed over dinner at the Lodge to dramatically skew tax cuts to high income earners shine a light on the calculated self-interest and unfairness of Tuesday night’s Budget.

According to an account of the dinner, John Howard and Peter Costello decided that ‘only a post-election budget could so handsomely reward the Coalition’s natural constituency’ and that relief for low and middle income earners was not a priority.

In the current struggle between Howard and Costello the only thing they might agree on is that just a few Australians deserve ten times the tax cut of the 7 million taxpayers who work so hard to make our economy strong.

Research conducted by the Melbourne Institute and Dr Neil Warren of the University of NSW confirms Labor’s claims that the Budget favours the very well-off at the expense of low and middle income earners.

According to this research, a worker on average earnings of $52,000 per year faces ‘a rising tax burden despite their handout of $6 a week’.

This tax burden on middle Australia will rise from 24.1 percent to 24.3 percent the year after next.

The analysis concludes that ‘the Budget involves a transfer of wealth from the lower and middle rungs of the income ladder to the rungs near the very top’.

Labor’s proposals in the Senate are a blueprint for a fairer tax reform package that provides relief for the many Australians dudded by the Coalition on Tuesday night.

Having returned to their electorates, Coalition MPs should explain to their constituents why they agree with the PM and the Treasurer that they are worth ten times the tax cut offered to 8 out of 10 taxpayers.

While they’re at it they should explain to their community why they won’t support Labor’s fairer alternative.

Saturday 14 May 2005 Contact Jim Chalmers 0417 141 676