Opposition conditionally supports tax cuts amid government’s push for full backing

Labor has revealed it will support part of the Federal Government’s tax cuts plan, as the government continues to push the Opposition to fully back the relief package.

The government said on Sunday that Labor wanted to “take money out of the pockets of hardworking Australians” by not supporting the $158 billion plan, but Labor announced on Monday it would back two stages, with conditions for the second stage.

The opposition previously said it would support the first stage of the plan, which would mean extra cash for low and middle income earners.

It claimed it would not support the latter stage aimed at flattening the tax rates by mid-2024 stating it should not be legislated years in advance and also it would be skewed towards the wealthy.

However, the opposition’s front bench decided to support the first part of the plan on Monday.

Labor will also back the second part if the government brought it forward to start in the 2019-20 financial year and not 2022 as originally planned, while deferring legislation on the third part of the plan due to begin in 2024.

On Sunday, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ben Morton criticised Labor’s lack of full support for the package because the government “had a mandate”.

“The Labor Party is not only disrespecting that mandate that the Liberal Party has to deliver on our policies and to bring in that legislation to cut tax, they are disrespecting the Australian people,” Mr Morton said.

He claimed the opposition was divided on the issue.

“The Labor Party can’t agree amongst themselves,” he said.

“There are sensible people in the Labor Party who are saying that they should be supporting the Morrison Government in achieving its objectives which have been endorsed by the Australian people of putting more money in the pockets of hardworking Australians.”

“(It’s) opposed to elements of the Labor Party who want to take money out of the pockets of hardworking Australians.”

Mr Morton said he remained confident that the plan would get the required support.

“I’m very confident this will pass because it’s the right thing to do.”

Experts claim that if passed, the tax cut package will bring benefits for young people.

Murdoch University Senior Lecturer in Politics and Policy Ian Cook said the cuts meant more money for young voters.

“They’ll see a bit more money in their pockets because taxes for them are sort of going down as many of them start off in lower positions and part time sort of work,” Dr Cook said.

“They’re tending to fall into the categories that will benefit from some of those cuts.”

However, he said it could potentially take money out of federal programs that would benefit young people.

“On the other hand, it will mean that investment in programs for young people, work, trying to re-skill them or skill them for changing work conditions, work environment s, that money isn’t going to be available,” he said.

Curtin University tutor and certified financial planner Elson Goh said it tax savings may not be as high for all tax payers.

“For people who are earning less than $37,000 the tax savings would not be as much as those who are earning in the middle or certainly in the later stage, those in a high income,” he said.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said if the coalition makes Labor’s concessions, it will help pass the cuts on Thursday next week.

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