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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4299


Mr ROBERT (Fadden) (11:28): It is a great pleasure to rise to speak on the Treasury Laws Amendment (Personal Income Tax Plan) Bill 2018, which will deliver fairer, lower and simpler taxes. This bill starts from the premise that this is the money of everyday, ordinary Australians—those who've got up every morning, sometimes every night, and worked hard. It's about returning more of their money to them. We're helping people manage household pressures and expenses, providing certainty for most of those Australians who get out there and work—the certainty that they'll face the same tax rate over their working life.

The government's seven-year personal income tax plan is affordable, is most certainly fiscally responsible and, as the budget outlines, will ensure a great benefit to working people across the country. Compare that to our colleagues on the other side of the benches, who've announced $200 billion of taxes in opposition. There's a housing tax, a savings tax and a family business tax, and, of course, we now have the retirees tax. There is no question that Labor is for higher taxes so they can spend it on all of their pet social projects. Labor is the leader of the high-tax club. We're here for returning more of your money to you.

Firstly, this bill will provide tax relief to low- and middle-income earners to help erase the cost-of-living pressures. It'll start by giving permanent tax relief, with a low- and middle-income tax offset, a non-refundable tax offset for the years 2018-19 through to 2021-22. It'll assist over 10 million Australians, with the maximum benefit of $530 being provided to about 4.4 million taxpayers. Taxpayers earning between $48,000 and $90,000 will receive the maximum of $530. The offset will provide a benefit of up to $200 for taxpayers with taxable incomes of up to $37,000.

Secondly, it will combat bracket keep. From the 2018-19 financial year, the top threshold of the 32½ per cent income tax bracket will increase from $87,000 to $90,000, reducing taxes by up to $135 for taxpayers earning above $87,000. From 2022-23, the threshold of the 32½c tax bracket will further increase from $90,000 to $120,000, and the top threshold of the 19 per cent bracket will increase from $37,000 to $41,000. The low- and middle-income tax offset will be replaced by increasing the low-income tax offset from $445 to $645.

Thirdly, step 3 is to simplify and flatten the whole system. From 2024-25 onwards the threshold of the 32½c bracket will be further increased from $120,000 to $200,000, completely removing the need for that 37c tax bracket. This will mean the vast number of Australians will simply stay on the same tax bracket for their entire lives. The 45 per cent tax bracket will kick in at $200,000. Ninety-four per cent of taxpayers are projected to face a marginal tax rate of only 32½ per cent or less in 2024-25. Compare this to a projected 63 per cent of taxpayers under current settings. These steps are quite landmark in setting a tax regime that is simple and provides certainty for Australians.

So what does that mean for my electorate and for the Gold Coast? I hold the northern part of the Gold Coast. For my area and for my constituents—over 100,000 voting men and women and over 170,000 men, women and children—73 per cent of my constituents are receiving tax relief. Now that's an average, which means there are some areas which are receiving a much higher rate. Eighty per cent of constituents in Alberton, Stapylton, Steiglitz and Woongoolba will receive tax relief. In Gaven, Pacific Pines, Maudsland and Oxenford, 79 per cent of working men and women will receive tax relief. In the suburbs of Gilberton, Jacobs Well, Norwell, Ormeau, Coomera and Pimpama, 78 per cent of people will receive tax relief. In Arundel and Parkwood, 76 per cent will receive tax relief. In Labrador and Southport, 75 per cent will receive tax relief. This is an extraordinary set of numbers in terms of people in my electorate who will receive tax relief because of what this government's doing. Compare that to Labor's $200 billion increase already announced. No-one's arguing about Labor's tax increase. No-one is saying the numbers are wrong. These are taxes on houses, taxes on savings, taxes on businesses and, of course—the mother of them all, with over $10 billion coming in in the first few years alone—a tax on retirees. The northern Gold Coast has one of the highest numbers of senior Australians and retirees in the country. There is no way I will sit idly by while Labor seeks to rip $10 billion from these men and women who have worked hard all their lives, saved, put aside and planned for their retirement. This is Labor's response to that.

The numbers speak for themselves. This is a great bill for Gold Coast working men and women. It is a great bill for 73 per cent of all Gold Coast working men and women because they receive tax relief, and for the others, of course, there is ostensibly no change. This is all upside and no downside. This is all benefit. For everyone looking forward, this provides certainty in terms of where we're going. This is a personal tax plan that will see a staggering 94 per cent of my constituents paying the 32½ per cent tax bracket come 2024-25. I commend this bill wholeheartedly to the House.