Senate debates

Monday, 18 March 2024



8:00 pm

Photo of Helen PolleyHelen Polley (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Everyone gets a tax cut. The plan is clear and simple. The Albanese government's tax reform plan is significant and timely. It's much-needed tax reform for 2024 as Australians deal with the cost-of-living pressures. This means every Australian taxpayer will now get a tax cut regardless of income scale, and 84 per cent of taxpayers will get a bigger tax cut and more support than they would have received under those opposite. It doesn't matter where you live in Tasmania: from Scottsdale to Dunalley, Devonport to Hobart, Launceston to Bicheno, you will get a tax cut. It means teachers, nurses, truck drivers and tradies will get a tax cut. And it will be a bigger tax cut.

This reform is about supporting working Australians, the people who keep our communities and our economy ticking over. The Albanese government wants people to be able to provide for their families and to get ahead. We are a government getting on with the job. There is no time to stall when people are doing it tough. You have to act, and these are decisive reforms that will serve the Australian people and our communities. Middle Australia and aspirational Australians go together. They work hard, like every Australian, to give their kids a better chance to succeed in life. The best version of our country is one that provides more opportunities for more people so that there's reward for effort right up and down the economic scale. In every suburb, in every town and in every part of our country, these tax cuts will help people. They will help families.

This significant tax reform is better for bracket creep, better for women and better for young people. It's about fairness, and the Australian Labor Party will always stand up for fairness. It will not burden the budget, nor will it put additional inflationary pressure on the national economy. These tax cuts build on a broader plan to ease cost-of-living pressures, and they come on top of the tens of billions of dollars in relief across child care, higher education, energy bills, rent and medicines, which have all become cheaper. We are already rolling these out in the economy, and we're seeing real benefits to Australian families.

These cost-of-living tax cuts for Middle Australia mean every taxpayer will get a tax cut from 1 July this year. The average Australian worker will now get a tax cut of more than $1,500 a year. That's around $29 per week. It's a manageable tax cut, and this money will add up in everyone's pocket. It might be used to help pay the rent, pay the bills or ensure that children can attend a school excursion. It is sensible relief now when people need it the most. To put the plan into more perspective, it means anyone earning $100,000 a year will get a tax cut of around $42 a week or $2,179 a year. For a family on an average household income of around $130,000, with one partner earning $80,000 and the other earning $50,000, their combined tax cut will be over $2,600, which is about $50 a week and $1,600 more than they would have got under the old plan under the Liberal Morrison government.

This is a plan to ease the burden of rent or a mortgage repayment. It is genuine cost-of-living relief to help every Australian. This significant tax cut reform is good news for all Australians, and it's good economic policy. This is why the Labor government exists and why we exist as a labour movement—to pass national building reforms and to make life better for Middle Australia and working Australians. I'm rightly proud to be part of a government that cares and has taken action to relieve the cost-of-living pressure for all Australians. To help that, not only have we introduced paid parental leave and extended it but we are now, as a government, going to be paying superannuation on paid parental leave. How good will that be in helping mums and dads and parents to return to work when they're ready after taking on the responsibility of caring for their new bub? What a delightful time. We as a Labor government are helping to ease that pressure. One thing you can always bank on is when you have a Labor government—and it is no different with an Albanese Labor government—we are about fairness, and about opportunity for young people, for women, for everyone to have a good work environment, to earn more and to keep more of their own money.