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Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7853


Mr VAN MANEN (FordeGovernment Whip) (12:29): It's indeed a pleasure to support the motion moved by the member for Brisbane in this House on a very important matter for 94 per cent of Australians, with the coalition government bringing down their tax rates over time. This is a really important opportunity to speak about these reforms, because the end result of these reforms will be more money in the pockets of hardworking Australian men and women. The workers of our nation know that the action we are taking is designed to reduce the financial burden on families and ensure that Australians don't face the travesty of being punished for working harder. We want every working Australian to retain more of the money that they earn. Why should anyone be punished for taking on extra shifts, earning overtime or being promoted if the end result is that it'll push them into a higher tax bracket? These measures make sense. They will put an end to bracket creep, so that working Australians can keep more of their money to help pay the bills, save for their future or spend in our local communities. I'm very happy to say that nearly 74,000 taxpayers in my electorate of Forde will benefit from the low- and middle-income tax relief in the 2018-19 financial year. Importantly, this government plan is fully costed and is, therefore, affordable for the future. It will provide tax relief now for low- and middle-income earners, and, over time, provide a simpler and fairer tax system for all taxpayers.

The government's measures will be implemented in three steps. The first stage will see the delivery of tax relief to low- and middle-income earners in the current financial year to help ease the rising cost of living pressures. In this financial year alone some 4.4 million Australians will get tax relief of up to $530, which will be delivered at the end of each year when they have completed their tax return. The second stage of the bill will lift the tax brackets to protect taxpayers from bracket creep. This second step will ensure that as inflation and incomes rise workers don't get pushed into higher tax brackets and pay a higher percentage of their income in tax. From 1 July 2018, the government will provide relief for up to three million Australians by increasing the top threshold for the 32½ per cent tax bracket from $87,000 to $90,000. When the low- and middle-income tax offset concludes in 2021-22 the top tax bracket for the 19 per cent tax bracket will be $41,000. As we can see, these measures are going to directly help low- to middle-income earners in the first instance. The third stage is about making personal taxes simpler and flatter and finalising the government's plan for more Australians to pay less tax through a simplified tax system. The end result will be a plan that means that 94 per cent of all taxpayers, including the majority of those working in my electorate of Forde will face a marginal tax rate of 32½ per cent or less from 2024-25. This compares with a projected 63 per cent of taxpayers in 2024-25 if there are no changes to the current settings.

Under our plan we will see Australia's tax system become internationally competitive. It will be a system that rewards effort and helps grow a strong economy. We all know that with a strong economy we see more jobs, more enterprise and more opportunity. But as we've just heard from the contribution from the member for Herbert, this is in stark contrast to those opposite, who always rely on taxes increasing on small and family businesses, on electricity, on incomes and on housing. Shamefully, Labor intends to rip money from the nation's retirees, who have spent a lifetime paying tax. It's classic Labor. They want to increase taxes by over $200 billion on hardworking families, small businesses, retirees and pensioners. Above all, their higher taxes will hurt the Australian economy. It is only the coalition government that is delivering responsible, affordable and well thought out tax relief that is costed and looks forward to how we can make a stronger and better economy for the future, because we know that in doing that we create jobs and opportunity for all Australians.