Labour’s Resources Minister Madeleine King has reiterated her party’s stance on retaining the third phase of tax cuts despite pressure on the budget.
Ms King backed Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ comment that it was a commitment to cut taxes for middle and high earners, she told Sky News.
“I don’t think the treasurer is very savvy about it, or at all shaky,” Ms. King said.
“This third stage of tax reduction is fixed by law.
“I would say that there is clearly a conversation going on in society.
“It’s fine if we openly discuss the tax or any other tax, but right now this government is not planning anything.”
On Friday, Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers said they had not abandoned Labour’s election commitments, but warned that fiscal and monetary policy needed to be balanced in response to global economic downturns and soaring inflation.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton spoke out on the issue, saying it was a key moment that would decide whether Labor would lose the nation’s trust.
“It’s not about tax cuts, it’s about whether Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party can be trusted and they still seem to have in their back pocket the prospect or ability to reverse a key promise they made at the last election,” said Mr Dutton told ABC Insiders on Sunday.
“It would be an unforgivable and ridiculous mistake.”
Opposition Treasury spokesman Angus Taylor also hit back at the government’s comments, saying tax increases were absolutely “in (Labour’s) DNA”.
“The key to that is to have a strong economy, a strong economy, strong incentives for Australia to go out there and go hack and then they pay more tax,” Mr Taylor told Sky News on Sunday.
He said the Prime Minister had allowed the debate to drag on for weeks and must make a firm commitment.
“We need to see Anthony Albanese rule out giving up the tax cuts,” he said.
“Now we are witnessing extreme inflationary pressure. And we know that with inflation the average Australian pays more tax.
“These tax reforms were designed very carefully to make sure that Australians had an incentive to get out there to organize.”