Stage 3 tax cuts: Peter Dutton brands Anthony Albanese a ‘liar’ as says coalition won’t block the changes

Bigger tax cuts for lower and middle income earners are all but locked in as Peter Dutton sets up the battleground for the next election.

The Opposition Leader confirmed he would not stand in the way of Labor’s reworked stage 3 tax cuts following a party room meeting with Coalition MPs.

But the announcement has done little to cool the political row over the package and the Prime Minister’s broken election promise to implement the original stage 3 cuts.

Describing him as a “liar in the Lodge”, Mr Dutton attacked Anthony Albanese’s credibility as he vowed to take a strong tax policy to the next election.

But Mr Albanese accused the Opposition of being ‘disingenuous” by finally agreeing to wave through the changes that were announced on January 25 despite a continued attack on them.

“What that tells me is that they’re not fair dinkum,” Mr Albanese later told 7.30 of the coalition decision.

“We made a difficult decision, but it was the right decision, done at the right time and

all for the right reasons.

“It shows that they were disingenuous with their complaining because if they were fair dinkum, they would not only vote against it, but do what Sussan Ley said they’d do, but roll it back.”

Mr Dutton’s announcement on stage 3 followed a joint party room meeting where the majority of MPs agreed to put up amendments but would wave the tax plan through when they ultimately failed.

“We’re supporting this change, not to support the Prime Minister’s lie but to support those families who need help now because Labor has made decisions that have made it much harder for those families,” he said.

“We will take to the next election a significant tax policy which will reduce taxes for the Australian taxpayers because we know that there is going to be a lot of support needed to help Australian families recover from this period of Labor.”

What Mr Dutton’s tax policy might look like won’t be revealed until closer to the next election.

One of the architects of the original plan, former treasurer Scott Morrison, spoke to the merits of the initial suite of the three stages.

The Coalition’s support paves the way for the proposal, which reworks the Morrison-era policy to give workers earning less than $150,000 a greater tax cut, to pass parliament before Mr Albanese’s Easter deadline to come into effect on July 1.

As Treasurer Jim Chalmers introduced the legislation to the House, and Mr Dutton was making his announcement, Coalition senators lined up to lash out at the tax plan.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher was forced to withdraw after she accused the opposition of disrupting the Senate’s business to “bitch and moan”.

“If that’s the best you’ve got then we are on pretty solid standing,” she said.

The motion, which called on Mr Albanese to apologise to voters for breaking his commitment to keep stage 3 as it was legislated in 2019, failed after the Greens voted with Labor.

It’s despite the Greens leaving the door open to sending the tax cuts to a Senate inquiry, delaying the vote and putting the Easter deadline in doubt.

No decision was made at the Greens party room meeting on Tuesday morning as to whether it would back the changes – arguing more needed to be done to make stage 3 fair.

Under the reworked tax plan, the lowest tax bracket would be reduced from 19 per cent to 16 per cent for earnings under $45,000.

The 37 per cent tax rate would be retained for those earning between $135,000 and $190,000.

Reserve Bank governor Michele Bullock downplayed concerns the revised tax plan would put further pressure on demand, spending and inflation.

“If you look at Treasury’s analysis, which was published on the website, they actually did a little bit of analysis to look at what might happen depending on different marginal propensities to consume,” she said.

The bottom line really is that the fiscal envelope is the same. It’s the same amount of money being handed out to households, but distributed slightly differently. We don’t think it has any implications for our forecasts.”

Read related topics:Anthony AlbanesePeter Dutton

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