Tax cuts could be just days away
AUSTRALIANS will be able to claim back up to $1080 on their tax within a week of the Morrison Government's plans passing the Parliament, which could be as soon as Thursday.
Labor remains divided on the $158 billion tax package, but is not ruling out backing the whole plan if its push to delay the final stage gets knocked back in the Senate.
Both parties want the issue dealt with this week, and the two key Centre Alliance crossbenchers are indicating support, leaving returning Senator Jacqui Lambie with the deciding vote.
As the Coalition inches towards securing the numbers, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed a quick turnaround for when taxpayers would be able to access the offsets of up to $1080 for people earning up to $126,000 if the package passes.
"It could be a matter of days, a week," he said.
"The systems have been changed by the (Australian Taxation Office) in preparation for this legislation.
"Once they put in their tax return and they're eligible for that tax offset, then it will flow shortly after."
The Government and Labor have agreed to fast-track the tax cuts through the House of Representatives tonight, setting up a showdown in the Senate on Thursday. Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick said that they now see "no major roadblocks" to the tax cuts getting through, though stopped shy of formally endorsing the plan.
Labor's treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said Labor remained committed to splitting off the final stage of the tax cuts, which would drop the 32.5 per cent tax rate to 30 cents in five years.
But Mr Chalmers said that "all alternatives", including waiving the full package through, would be considered if Labor's amendments were shot down in the Senate.
"All of the alternatives are available to us if our amendments fail in the Senate," Mr Chalmers said. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese dug in against the demands from the Coalition that Labor pass the full package.
"We want the government to have a bit of common sense, they won the election but there is this arrogance about them thinking that they can do whatever they want. Well they can't," he said.
Mr Albanese told a divided caucus meeting yesterday that passing the $95 billion stage three of the tax plan meant it "permanently reduces the help we're able to give people".
But Labor's Joel Fitzgibbon publicly warned that "no political party gets in between taxpayers and a tax cut".