Thu, 4 Apr, 2019
Bill Shorten’s Budget reply: The 10 words that reveal more than you think
Bill Shorten’s Budget reply had one very telling and arguably very dramatic line in his speech which shows his party’s new plan of attack.
“This isn’t a tax plan, it’s a ticking debt bomb.”
The line is not only an attack on the current government’s tax policies, but also showed Labor’s plans on how to counter one of the more obvious political weaknesses. This would be the long record of deficits attributed to the Labor party.
Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg from the Coalition have spent this week letting people know about the Budget’s predicted surplus of $7 billion in 2019-2020.
A key phrase has dominated the Coalition’s social media channels, which is “back in black”, and it doesn’t help that Frydenberg has delighted in pointing out Labor’s failures to balance the Budget previously.
In Question Time on Thursday, Frydenberg used opposition MP Andrew Laming’s fashion sense to make a point.
“I’m glad he’s wearing a shirt from 1989. The year that Labor last delivered a surplus!” Mr Frydenberg said.
“Twenty years ago! Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall was still standing. The Simpsons had their first episode. And I had a mullet. They were the days!”
However, Shorten isn’t letting these insults get under his party’s skin. He has clear plans to tackle his party’s biggest weakness head on.
“We will not be signing up to the Liberals’ radical, right-wing, flat tax experiment, way off in the future. A scheme which would force a nurse on $50,000 to pay the same tax rate as a surgeon on $200,000,” Mr Shorten said in his speech.
Shorten is referring to the long-term tax policy that was announced on Tuesday, which would see the third highest tax rate of 32.5 cents per dollar earned from $37,001 to $87,000 be raised from $37,001 to $200,000. This move would abolish the second highest tax rate in the process.
This change is currently hypothetical as it’s not looking to be put in place until 2024-2025, but Labor are striking whilst the iron is hot.
“It is neither fair nor responsible to lock in these billions of dollars of tax giveaways, disproportionately flowing to a relative few, and so far into the future,” he said.
“This is a time when Australia should be building a strong surplus, a fiscal buffer.”
What do you think about the proposed tax changes? Let us know in the comments.