- The Guardian
- Issue #2028
Australia’s “Labor” Party can be incredibly frustrating to those who don’t want to see a return of the Coalition but who also want serious, progressive steps forward that make genuine, real changes for the working class.
Keeping the stage-three tax cuts is one of those frustratingly coward moments.
Instead of reversing the stage-three taxes introduced by the former Morrison Government, all is set for the Albanese Government to continue that policy. And why wouldn’t it? Labour, after all, voted for them in 2019.
With stages -one and -two already completed, the stage-three tax cuts look to remove “the $120,000 to $180,000 tax bracket, lifts the top tax bracket threshold from $180,000 to $200,000, and puts in place a 30% tax rate for income between $45,000 and $200,000” (The Guardian (UK)). What does that mean? It means someone earning $45,001 a year pays the same tax rate as someone earning $200,000. In other words, the working class is, again, bearing the cost of government spending. Under stage-three Australia’s tax brackets would look like this:
- $18,200 – no tax
- $18,201 to $45,000 – pay a 19% tax rate
- $45,001 to $200,000 – pay a 30% tax rate
- $200,001 plus – pay a 45% tax rate
Keeping this policy highlights how out of touch the ALP is with the Australian working class. Lets put these tax cuts into perspective. Per the Australian Financial Review, the new stage-three tax cuts will see those making $60,000 get a measly $375 in tax relief. However, if you’re earning $200,000 a year you get just over $9,000 in tax cuts. According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, as a result of the thousands of dollars in tax cuts the rich are receiving, the Australian government will lose almost $250B in revenue – money that could be put into services that everyday Australians sorely require.
What is perhaps the most outrageous aspect of the continuation of this policy is how the Albanese Government is attempting to sell these tax cuts to workers.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers claims that “When it comes to the tax cuts, I think we’ve made the obvious point that when it comes to cost-of-living relief, it should be targeted to people on low and middle incomes.”
Does Chalmers really think that those earning $150,000 a year are Australia’s “middle income” earners? Let us remind those who have forgotten or are unaware that, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the median income was $62,868 – a far cry from those earning over $100,000.
What’s more, a growing number of Australians do not support the stage-three tax cuts. The Australia Institute’s most recent poll conducted earlier this month found that forty-eight per cent support repealing the tax cuts, up seven percentage points from September.
We must continue to pressure the Albanese government to ditch these tax cuts and support policies and programs that give working-class Australians a fair go!