Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had a brief clash with a TV host who demanded to know if already struggling Australians would face a future tax hike.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers presented the Labor Party budget on Tuesday, which warned of a bleak economic outlook while trying to ease cost-of-living pressures on families.
Labor has delivered on its election promise to maintain Stage Three tax cuts introduced by the former Morrison government in 2019.
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But there are fears the government will raise taxes due to a future forecast of a growing deficit reaching $44 billion (2023/24), $51.3 billion (2024/25) and $49.6 billion dollars (2025/26) due to a “deep and permanent” budget. pressures.
Today’s show host Karl Stefanovic asked Mr Albanese, who was making the rounds in the media, on Wednesday whether his government would raise taxes.
“Well, we don’t have any plans beyond what we announced last night,” the prime minister said.
“We fulfilled the commitments that we made. Look, it’s not sure… if it was on our agenda, you would have seen it last night.
“What we are doing is what we put in the budget last night that will make a difference to those families who are getting the kids ready for school this morning.”
He outlined Labour’s list of key cost-of-living relief initiatives, which include cheaper childcare and medicine, increased paid parental leave, affordable housing, free TAFE and a commitment to reduce electricity bills.
Unsatisfied with the response, Stefanovic pushed further on whether he would “dismiss the trail” as the families struggled to cope.
“Karl, it’s kind of silly to ask a question about future budgets a day after we’ve handed in a budget,” Mr Albanese replied to the Channel 9 host.
Stefanovic argued it was reasonable and ‘obvious’ to ask because Labor needed to spend money and ‘find the money somewhere’.
“Well, we announced our tax program last night, which is our tax plans for multinationals. These are the changes we went to the election on,” the Labor leader said.
“We are a government that is delivering on the promises we made to the Australian people that they voted for in May.”
Dr Chalmers did not mention the policy during his budget speech to parliament on Tuesday evening, but signaled that $4.7 billion in savings would be recouped over four years.
This will be done by ensuring that multinationals “pay a fairer share of tax in Australia” through the expansion of tax compliance programs.
He also said the Australian Taxation Office would be given all necessary resources to “crack down on tax evasion”.
The budget projected inflation to peak in the September quarter at 7.75% before slowing to 3.5% in 2023/24 and 2.5% in the following two years.