The Greens have threatened to derail Labor’s first budget in October if Anthony Albanese’s government does not overturn tax cuts for Aussies earning over $45,000.
Leader Adam Bandt wants the new Labor government to repeal the stage three tax cuts – which start in 2024 – and instead put the money towards free childcare, free dental care and building one million homes.
The tax cuts – introduced by the Coalition and supported by Labor – benefit the wealthiest Australians the most, handing $9,000 a year to those on more than $180,000 but just $680 to a worker on $72,000.
Greens leader Adam Bandt (pictured with his wife Claudia) wants the new government to repeal the stage three tax cuts which start in 2024
The Greens have vowed to use their blocking power in the upper house where they have a record 12 senators to pressure Labor over the policy.
In a speech to the Queensland Press Club on Friday, Mr Bandt will blast the tax cuts, which are due to cost $37billion a year by the 2030s, and say the money can be better spent elsewhere.
‘Labor is proposing to make inequality worse, by locking in tax cuts for billionaires like Clive Palmer in its first Budget,’ he will say in the speech seen by Daily Mail Australia.
‘Labor is getting ready to lock in the stage three tax cuts, which destroy our progressive taxation system, will make inequality in this country worse and turbocharge inflation.
‘It will mean that working people in low paid jobs are still under pressure, while billionaires like Clive Palmer will get a $9,000 tax cut every year.
‘Labor must rethink these tax cuts for billionaires and save our progressive taxation system before it is too late.
‘If these tax cuts for the very wealthy proceed, we will move a step closer to where the government fails to provide the basic essential services people need to survive.’
The Greens want to everyone in Australia to have dental care included on Medicare
Mr Bandt believes the cuts will propel Australia towards ‘US-style inequality’ and wants a new tax on billionaires to pay for free dental care and free childcare.
‘Let’s build a million affordable homes. Let’s make childcare free. Let’s tackle the climate emergency. We can do this without asking everyday people to pay more,’ he will say.
‘Labor shouldn’t give Clive Palmer a tax cut while people can’t afford to get their teeth fixed.
‘The Greens would rather get dental into Medicare than give Clive Palmer a $9,000 a year tax cut.’
The Greens will not stop government from functioning by blocking supply but just try to change laws that are not essential.
‘We will seek to amend the first Budget if Labor proceeds with tax cuts for billionaires and handouts to coal and gas corporations. We will not stand by quietly while Australia is sold off and sold out,’ he will say.
The Greens also want to provide childcare for free paid for by a billionaires tax
Mr Bandt has vowed to be ‘constructive’ while warning ‘we’re not a rubber stamp’.
‘This is the critical decade for climate action. Inequality is spiralling out of control,’ he will say.
‘Even though they’re in majority government in the Lower House, it would be a mistake for Labor to try and take the growing cross bench for granted.
‘The best outcomes will come from working together, and putting the people first.’
During the election campaign Anthony Albanese backed stage three tax cuts, saying: ‘I want people to have the certainty of knowing what their income will be.’
Stage three tax cuts explained
The stage three cuts in 2024 will benefit anyone earning over $45,000 by creating a flat rate of 30 per cent between $45,000 and $200,000.
They will also lift the 45 per cent threshold from $180,000 to $200,000.
Currently income over $45,000 is taxed at 32.5 per cent, over $120,000 at 37 per cent and over $180,000 at 45 per cent.
Those earning more than $120,000 will benefit the most. A politician on $211,250 will get a tax cut of $9,075. A registered nurse on $72,235 will get a tax cut of $681.
The changes were part of a three-stage tax reform package which was legislated in 2019.
Stage two cuts, which helped Aussies earning less than $120,000, were brought forward by two years to July 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.