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Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7852


Ms O'TOOLE (Herbert) (12:24): Since the Turnbull government announced their budget in May 2018, I have been hosting budget community forums around my electorate of Herbert, and, let me tell you, the feedback from the community is a huge thumbs down. Both Labor and Liberal have made announcements regarding changes to income tax, but there is a stark difference between the government's and the opposition's policies. The Turnbull government is planning to radically rewrite the tax rules for this nation. The more Australians learn about these new tax rules, the less they like them. The Turnbull government is including workers on $40,000 a year in the same tax bracket as workers earning $200,000 a year. How on earth can it be fair for a nurse, for example, earning $40,000 to pay the same rate as a doctor, for example, earning $200,000, or for a cleaner to pay the same tax rate as a CEO? How can it be fair that, under this tax experiment, the doctor who earns five times as much as the nurse is entitled to a tax cut that is 16 times greater? New research has revealed that, under this plan, $6 in every $10 will go to the wealthiest 10 per cent of workers in Australia. It is becoming clearly evident that this tax scheme is looking like another 'mates rates' tax plan deal from the Turnbull LNP government, a tax scheme in which the government's business and banker mates get more and workers get less. This is simply not fair.

But Labor's personal income tax plan will deliver bigger, better and fairer tax cuts and it will deliver for more than 10 million working Australians. It's Aussie workers who need assistance, not the top end of town. Labor's tax refund for working Australians increases the tax cuts currently being offered under the Turnbull government's tax offset proposal. Under Labor, you will pay less income tax because we think you are more important than the multinationals, big banks and big business. Labor will give working Australians a bigger tax cut and not big businesses, the banks and multinationals. More importantly, our tax cuts will be permanent. Everyone earning less than $125,000 a year will receive a bigger tax cut under Labor when compared to the LNP.

What does that mean for my electorate? The median weekly personal income in Herbert is $672. Under Labor, that person in Herbert will be $350 better off. That's $150 more than under the Turnbull government's plan. Families will be better off as well. The median weekly family income in Herbert is $1,640. Under Labor, families in Herbert will be $928 better off. That is more than $398 better off than under the Turnbull government's plan. To put professionals into perspective, with Labor's tax refund a teacher earning $65,000 will be $2,780 better off. That's an extra $928 a year. A married couple, one serving in our defence forces earning $90,000, and the other working in aged care, on $50,000, will be $5,565 better off under Labor and they will have a combined $1,855 extra each year under Labor.

Under Labor, working- and middle-class Australians will pay less tax, and we will deliver vital infrastructure for Townsville as well as proper funding for our schools and hospitals. Under Turnbull, hospitals and schools will receive cuts, but big business and the banks will be billions better off. If you don't believe me, try Labor's tax calculator for yourself. You can enter your income and your partner's income and work out the tax cut you will receive under Labor. You can visit my Facebook page for the link. The Turnbull government is not interested in supporting working Australians, and its personal income tax plan certainly isn't either. Our most vulnerable and hardworking citizens deserve to make sure that they can survive, and the tax cuts for big business and the banks, at the expense of our vulnerable low-paid workers, schools, health system, aged-care system and supports for veterans, are completely unacceptable.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank the member for Herbert. I just remind members to refer to other members by their titles, not their names.