Kyle Sandilands grills Anthony Albanese over tax cut chaos

Anthony Albanese has dropped a big hint that he wants to deliver cost of living relief to low income earners which could include lifting the tax free threshold for all workers.

By increasing the current tax free threshold of $18,200 to $20,200 for example, all workers would secure a $380 a year tax cut.

Amid speculation on 2GB radio that the Albanese Government plans to fiddle with promised tax cuts, government sources have poured cold water on suggestions the top tax bracket will no longer be increased from $180,000 to $200,000.

However, the Prime Minister has insisted that “everyone” will get a tax cut, fuelling speculation he may be planning to increase the tax free threshold which could deliver a modest tax cut to people earning between $20,000 and $45,000 a year.

All workers can currently claim the tax-free threshold on the first $18,200 of income you earn in the income year.

This is called the tax-free threshold. By increasing the threshold for example from $18,200 to $20,200, most workers would get a tax cut of around $380 a year.

Mr Albanese told KIIS FM on Tuesday that “everyone” would get a tax cut ahead of a cabinet meeting and a full ministry meeting on cost of living measures today.

All Labor MPs will gather in Canberra to discuss new measures on Wednesday as the government keeps the details under wraps.

Earlier in the KIIS interview, millionaire Kyle Sandilands demanded to know if he – and others in the top bracket – would get a tax cut.

“Our boss here. He’s one of those over $250,000-a-year types. And he’s saying, ‘Oh, you heard a sniff this morning that he might be cut out of the tax cuts’,” Sandilands asked the PM. “And I said, ‘Nah I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure everyone’s getting some sort of cut.’ What’s the latest on that?”

Mr Albanese at no stage offered any guarantee that tax cuts for the rich would remain untouched and as legislated.

“We’re having a normal meeting. We had a meeting last week as well,” Mr Albanese said.

Sandilands then asked again if he would be “ripping off the high end of town”.

“I support tax cuts. Everyone will be getting a tax cut,” the PM replied.

When Sandilands asked, “Me too?”, the PM replied, “You will always be looked after, Kyle, because I know you’re struggling.”

“People laugh but I am in the highest tax bracket there is – the highest,” Sandilands said.

“That’s because you’re one of the highest earners,” Mr Albanese laughed.

“What we’re doing is looking at how we can help low- and middle-income earners. Middle Australia particularly is doing really tough. People have a mortgage so we’re looking at ways in which we can provide assistance to them. We did that last year with a range of measures. People are benefiting from cheaper medicines, cheaper childcare, the energy price relief plan, but we’re looking at other ways as well.”

But the bizarre interview descended into farce as the PM refused to be pinned down on the tax cuts and instead discussed whether or not he would propose to his girlfriend Jodie Haydon and how he picks up “dog poo” at the Lodge.

“My dog, my responsibility,” the PM said. “Now we’ve descended into dog poo. I am going to talk about the economy.”

Albo’s orders on tax cuts

Mr Albanese’s office has issued strict instructions to every Labor MP to tell voters “we haven’t changed our position” amid speculation he is about to fiddle with his promised tax cuts.

Chaos erupted on Tuesday after reports the Prime Minister was preparing to break a huge election promise by trimming planned tax cuts for people earning more than $180,000 a year.

However, the catch would be to lift the current tax-free threshold of $18,000 – which would give everyone a tax cut.

The Prime Minister’s office subsequently insisted there were no current plans to alter the tax cuts, and suggested the speculation was “wrong” – while refusing to rule out changes.

“The government’s position hasn’t changed,” a spokesman said.

The mantra of “we haven’t changed our position” has been parroted by the Prime Minister, Labor frontbenchers and MPs for weeks now even as work continues inside the government on secret cost-of-living relief options.

Cabinet will meet briefly in Canberra on Tuesday at 9am before a meeting of the full ministry in Canberra to thrash out the cost-of-living options.

All Labor MPs will travel to Canberra on Wednesday to discuss these options.

But one Labor MP noted the “position hasn’t changed” line does not preclude changing the position subsequently, an option some MPs fear could “torch” the Prime Minister’s credibility.

PM could ‘torch credibility’

“It’s one thing to offer more to low- and middle-income earners as an equity measure,” a Labor MP said. “But Anthony Albanese could torch his credibility if it’s seen as a broken promise.

“And then what happens if Peter Dutton says, ‘We will match it and leave the Stage 3 tax cuts for the wealthy untouched?’ Then we’re f**ked.”

Because the tax cuts are legislated, any changes will need to return to parliament for debate and new legislation.

Liberal frontbencher Angus Taylor warned Mr Albanese faced a huge backlash over any broken promise.

“The important point here is that this Prime Minister’s word means nothing,” he told Sky News host Peta Credlin. “His promises are absolutely meaningless. And in terms of broken promises, this one’s really egregious.”

Mr Taylor said Mr Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers promised they would not touch the tax cuts “70 times”.

“This is a Prime Minister. He says one thing, he does another. It’s all politics,” Mr Taylor said.

The tax cut options raised by 2GB host Chris O’Keefe included lifting the tax-free threshold, which would give everyone a tax cut, but trimming the tax relief for high income earners over $180,000.

“OK, I’m gonna kick the show off like this. Stage 3 tax cuts – the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is about to overhaul them, restructure them, re-legislate them, whichever way you want to spin it,” O’Keefe said.

“They are going to change. The Stage 3 tax cuts will not go ahead as planned. Now this is the plan that I’m told will go to cabinet tomorrow and then Labor’s caucus on Wednesday.”

The PM’s huge hint

Meanwhile Mr Albanese has dropped a huge hint on new cost-of-living relief before the May budget, pledging that if he can find a way to “put dollars” into low- and middle-income earners’ pockets, he will.

Mr Albanese has outlined his priorities for relief as he confirmed the budget surplus – based in part on higher income tax revenue – has provided room for relief.

“If we can find ways to put extra dollars in people’s pockets, particularly those lower middle income earners who are doing it tough, then we are prepared to do so,” Mr Albanese told Sky News.

Last week, Mr Albanese pledged that promised tax cuts “will happen” from July after weeks of speculation, ensuring that those earning over $200,000 score a whopping $9000-a-year tax cut.

“We have no change to our plans. We, of course, have said that tax relief is really important,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“So they’re going to happen?’’ he was asked on Adelaide’s Triple M radio. “Well, tax cuts will happen in July,’’ he said.

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