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Howard's big tax lie exposed.



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

STATEMENT BY THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON SIMON CREAN MP

Howard’s big tax lie exposed

Today's report by Access Economics blows the lid off the Government's claim that it needs to make big cuts to expenditure to pay for the war in Iraq.

The Access report confirms that the highest taxing government in Australian history is raking in money hand over fist at the expense of struggling families and has no excuse for a deficit.

Mr Howard has no excuse for not giving families a decent tax cut. He has a miserable record of just one tax cut in seven years - a record which has seen battling families relentlessly pushed into higher tax brackets.

As the Australian Industry Group notes in its Budget submission - families need immediate relief from bracket creep.

Even the cost of the war, which the Government admits will run into hundreds of millions of dollars, should be met by the increase in petrol taxes which have flowed from the Iraq conflict.

The simple fact is that John Howard and Peter Costello are running the highest taxing Government in Australian history, a point confirmed today by Taxpayers Australia.

Rather than simplify the tax system the Government keeps hitting Australian consumers with more taxes - three more have been added since the GST was introduced (the milk tax, the sugar tax and the Ansett tax) and the passenger movement charge has also been increased twice.

At the same time, John Howard and Peter Costello are forcing Australian families to pay more and more out of their own pockets for basic services like health and education.

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To every problem - John Howard and Peter Costello have only one answer - families pay more.

The success of the Australian economy has been built on the back of the hard work of Australian families.

Australian families need and deserve a break.

A Crean Labor Government will reward Australian families for their hard work: • By giving working families tax relief; • By helping create a better balance between work and family life, including through the introduction of paid maternity leave;

• By saving Medicare, in particular bulk-billing; and • By making higher education affordable.

These can all be done within the Budget if the Government gets its priorities right: • Stop rewarding the obscene corporate handouts;

• Review this Government's $2.5 billion subsidy to the private health insurance industry; and • Get serious about Government waste and mismanagement.

There is a better way.

MELBOURNE 14 APRIL 2003