Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 18 June 2018
Page: 3070

Senator MOLAN (New South Wales) (15:18): I will talk about tax relief, but I also note in passing that Senator Watt made some statements about the Caboolture Hospital. I heard figures over the weekend about the Caboolture Hospital. I will go back and work on them very hard, because the Labor lies we've heard over many years in relation to 'Mediscare', which were brought out during the double dissolution election and again—and failed dramatically—in Bennelong, are absolutely not true. I heard detailed figures that we were cutting hospitals in Eden-Monaro, and it can be shown and proven that the funding to each and every one of those hospitals has increased. It was increased this year and will be increased over the next four years.

We're talking here about tax relief. You just can't trust Labor on this. They voted for our full tax relief package in the House but now look like backflipping in the Senate. Average wage earners under Labor will be paying up to $2,000 a year more in tax by 2024. I will get into more detailed figures in relation to all of this, but if Labor fails to support steps 2 and 3 of the government's Personal Income Tax Plan, it will rip $70 billion in extra income tax from working Australians' pay packets over the next 10 years. Labor is trying to cut in half the government's $140 billion Personal Income Tax Plan, which is focused on middle-income earners. Labor is always happy to commit Australian taxpayers to higher expenditure going into the future but is not prepared to commit to giving them responsible tax relief. Labor's extra $70 billion slug on middle-income taxpayers means the value of their higher tax proposals has now reached a staggering $290 billion over the next 10 years, confirming yet again that Labor is the party of higher and higher taxes.

Our tax plan will mean working Australians keep more of their money to help pay their bills, save for their future or spend with local businesses, which in turn helps our economy. As we know, there are three steps, the first of which is tax relief now for middle- and low-income earners. In 2018-19, around 4.4 million Australians will get tax relief of $530 per year and over 10 million taxpayers will get some tax relief. The second stage involves lifting tax brackets to protect Australians from the impact of bracket creep. The third stage ensures that more Australians pay less tax by making personal taxes simpler. As a result of the plan, around 94 per cent of taxpayers are projected to face a tax rate of 32.5 per cent, or less, and that is all.

There are some figures that I think should be brought into this debate. The first one is just the simple fact that Australia's personal income tax system will, and must, remain progressive. Those who have the greatest ability to pay will continue to contribute their fair share. Those who have a lower ability to pay will continue to be taxed less or pay no net tax. Under the government's plan, in 2024-25 a person earning $200,000 would pay around 13 times more tax than a person earning $41,000. In 2015-16, the top 20 per cent of taxpayers paid around 61 per cent of all personal income tax. Under the Personal Income Tax Plan this cohort is projected to continue to contribute a broadly similar share in 2024-25. That is about fairness. In 2015-16, those in the top bracket paid 30.3 per cent of all income tax collected. Under the government's plan, Treasury estimates that those in the top tax bracket will pay around 36 per cent of all personal income tax collected in 2024-25. Under the Personal Income Tax Plan, in 2024 a similar proportion of the population will be in the top marginal tax bracket to that which is currently in that bracket.