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Costello's no family friend.

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Wayne Swan MP Federal Labor Shadow Treasurer

9 January 2005


Australians should be skeptical of a Treasurer who spends ten years making it harder for average families then spends one day indicating he might give them a hand.

The families Peter Costello now talks about are those he’s squeezed for a decade.

The Treasurer has a 10 year record of slugging middle income families with the highest taxes in our nation’s history.

The tax burden on middle income earners has increased under his watch:

! This year a family on average earnings will lose a greater share of their wage in tax than when Peter Costello became Treasurer in 1996.

! The incentive to earn extra income has been significantly diminished through Peter Costello’s changes to the tax and family benefit systems.

! For example a single income family on average earnings keeps just 48.5 cents of each additional dollar earned today compared to 64.5 cents in 1996.

Australians familiar with this massive tax burden will see through the Treasurer’s latest attempt to convert himself into a friend of families on average incomes.

If Peter Costello was fair dinkum about tax relief for those on middle incomes he would have delivered substantial reform by now.

Instead in the last two Budgets the Treasurer has chosen to only reward those on high incomes and deny families on middle incomes the relief they need.

Just 8 months ago he tossed the ‘backbone of the nation’ only $6 a week.

As always, Peter Costello’s remarks are more about his own personal ambitions than the aspirations of middle Australia.

After spending a decade punishing middle income earners with record taxes, the Treasurer is the ‘friend’ no average family wants around for dinner.


Sunday 8 January 2006 Contact Jim Chalmers 0417 141 676