Survey battle lines drawn on tax: Treasurer | Camden Haven Courier
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has returned from his COVID-19 sickbed to brag about his government’s record on tax cuts, which he sees as a major point of difference with Labor as the country surrenders at the polls this year.
But Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers has accused Mr Frydenberg of launching a campaign of fear as his government taxed Australians at a much higher rate than Labor ever did.
Mr Frydenberg said that since the coalition came to power in 2013, the government has provided $1.5 billion a month in tax breaks to wage earners, especially those on low and middle incomes.
He said that in the past six months alone, 11.7million Australians have benefited from $15.5billion in tax relief, the biggest package of cuts in a six-month period in more than two decades.
He said that would be a clear battle line in the next election.
“Anthony Albanese has spent his whole career advocating for higher taxes,” he told Sky News of the opposition leader.
“Whether it’s the pensioner tax, or the housing tax, the pension tax, and he was a big proponent of the carbon tax and the mining tax. He even talked about a congestion tax and ‘other other taxes. So he can’t walk away from that.”
Mr Frydenberg said Labor took $397bn in taxes in the last election.
However, this was a figure put forward by his office rather than calculated by the Treasury.
Dr Chalmers accused the Treasurer of staging ‘another desperate scare campaign’, insisting Labor will not enforce these tax hikes at the next election.
“We’ve been saying that for a while now,” he told the Nine Network.
“Taxes are actually higher under this government than they were under Labour, people are paying a lot more tax now than they did then.”
He said Mr Frydenberg’s own mid-year budget review, released in December, shows the proportion of taxes in the economy averaged 20.85% under Labor between 2008 and 2013, down from 22 .5% under the coalition between 2014 and 2021.
“Despite raising taxes, this government has run more consecutive deficits than any government since the 1920s, and racked up record debt without having enough,” Dr Chalmers said.
He said that to contain a trillion dollar debt, a Labor government would invest wisely to grow the economy, while dealing with some of the rorts and wastes that have been seen under that government.
“There could be opportunities to ensure that multinational corporations pay their fair share of tax here in Australia,” he added.
Australian Associated Press