Anthony Albanese has been questioned over his credibility after the reworked stage three tax cuts he had promised to leave intact were passed overnight.
A vote was held in the Senate on Tuesday night. in which the Coalition reluctantly supported the government’s tax reform that will mean Australia’s 13.6 million taxpayers will receive tax relief from mid-year.
While the Prime Minister appears to be counting on the extra money in voters’ pockets to help them forget his broken promise, a new poll shows this may not be the case as his perception of trustworthiness plummets.
‘These were different changes to the position you took in the elections. Are you worried that all this will come at a cost to your credibility? ABC News Breakfast presenter Michael Rowland asked the Prime Minister on Wednesday.
A The Essential poll published in The Guardian this week showed that the Labor leader’s trustworthiness rating has fallen by a significant 15 points.
News Breakfast presenter Michael Rowland quizzed Albanese on whether he was concerned his credibility had been hit by the broken promise of stage three tax cuts.
“It was not an easy decision, but it was the right decision for all the right reasons. We know that families are under the pressure of the cost of living,” Mr Albanese responded.
‘The idea that we could sit back and ignore clear recommendations that this was the best way to have an impact by providing that assistance to central Australia without putting upward pressure on inflation, we couldn’t ignore it.
‘The liberals said they would oppose it. Then they said they would revoke it. Then they said we should take it to elections. Then they ended up voting in favor. So, they also changed their position.”
Albanese said Australians should see more money in their bank accounts from mid-year and the changes will come into effect from July 1.
“By passing it now, there will be time for employers to take action and, of course, when there is an increase in income like this, it will be a big positive for people to be able to plan for it,” he said.
At a press conference following the passage of the tax package, he hailed the change as a “huge victory” for Australian workers.
“Australians are earning more and will be able to keep more of what they earn,” Mr Albanese said.
Before the final vote, opposition finance spokeswoman Jane Hume told the Senate the Coalition would not oppose tax relief for Australians.
“But that doesn’t mean we approve of the lie that was told,” Senator Hume said, pointing to the government’s broken promise to alter the fiscal package.
The Greens, who attempted to refer the legislation to committee, failed to gain support for their proposal.
The Albanian government’s realignment of stage three tax cuts keeps the tax-free threshold at its current rate of $19,200, reduces the rate on income earned up to $45,000 to 16 percent – down from 19 percent – and reduces the rate of $45,000. to $135,000 for the 30 percent tax bracket, compared to 32.5 percent.
Additionally, the 37 percent tax bracket will remain between $135,000 and $190,000, after which the top marginal tax rate will begin to be $190,000 at a rate of 45 percent.
The reform usurps tax changes, introduced by the then Morrison government in 2019, which would have created a single tax bracket of between $45,000 and $180,000 at a rate of 30 per cent.
Despite offering additional relief to taxpayers squeezed by high interest rates and still high inflation, Albanese has failed to gain more support in opinion polls according to Newspoll and Resolve.
The Coalition has promised to develop a tax reform package before the next federal election, scheduled for May 2025 at the latest, that would be “in line with the stage 3 tax cuts”.
The bill’s passage comes just days before the crucial Dunkley by-election, which will be a litmus test for central Australia under cost-of-living pressure.
Albanese and opposition leader Peter Dutton have downplayed their chances of electoral success in Saturday’s by-election.