The left-leaning Australian Greens are considering a possible showdown with the Labor government after its leader Adam Bandt signaled the party would try to thwart a planned third round of tax cuts for families.
In an address to the National Press Club on August 3, Bandt claimed that another round of tax cuts would hurt ordinary Australians.
Bandt alleged that the centre-left Labor government was rolling out a neoliberal policy favoring the privatization of services, tax cuts and austerity. The Greens currently hold the balance of power in the Australian Senate with 12 seats.
“The Labor Government’s plan to dismantle our progressive tax system and enact economic austerity policies will hurt ordinary Australians unless they change course and work with the Greens. The government needs to rethink its first budget,” Bandt said.
“In the balance of power in the Senate, we will push Labor to abandon the unfair tax cuts that will rip $244 billion from the public purse.”
Labor push ahead with tax cuts
The Epoch Times contacted Treasurer and Treasurer Jim Chalmers about Bandt’s remarks and was directed to the Treasurer’s comments on Channel Seven. Sunrisewhere he said the government would continue tax cuts in 2023-2024.
“The Greens have a point of view on this, and they have asked me about it in Parliament. But we must recognize that even if we were to take this suggestion and follow it, it would have no impact on the challenge of inflation right now, because those tax cuts won’t happen for a few years,” he said.
“And so, I respectfully listen to the views that are presented to me, but we’ve been clear about our views on this. Our priority when it comes to fixing the budget is to reduce some of this waste and some of those rorts that have been a defining feature for far too long in the budget.
Beneficial for 70% of all taxpayers
As part of tax reform, former treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who oversaw the development of the plan, pushed to simplify tax brackets so Australians earning between $45,000 and $200,000 a year would pay 30 cents per dollar.
The treasurer also argued that it would be financially beneficial for 70% of all taxpayers.
“That will see a worker who will have $100,000 in income, an average full-time income in 2024-25, will be $100,000,” Frydenberg said.
Meanwhile, those earning less than $45,000 will pay a 19% tax rate on their average annual earnings, and those earning more than $200,000 will pay 45%.
However, leftist think tank Richard Denniss, chief economist of the Australian Institute, has said the cuts would primarily benefit those earning more than $200,000.
“Our research reveals that under this plan, it’s the billionaires who benefit while the fighters get the punches,” Denniss said.
According .communityida company that provides demographic resources, only 12.5% of the Australian working population earn more than $200,000.