Labor must ‘apologise’ for cane toad analogy
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has demanded his counterpart Chris Bowen apologise for associating retirees with cane toads.
Mr Frydenberg said the Labor treasury spokesman's comment was "another sign of Labor's arrogance and hubris", and insult to retirees to be hit with his retirees tax.
In a defence of the Opposition's decision to scrap share cash refunds, Mr Bowen on Wednesday described them as the "cane toad of Australian tax policy".
"Introduced by the Howard Government, their cost has increased tenfold, to almost what the Australian Government spends on public schools," Mr Bowen wrote in a News Corp Australia opinion piece.
"If the payments didn't exist today, no party would be promising to introduce them."
He said under Labor's plan, people getting a pension or allowance wouldn't be affected, meaning less wealthy retirees are exempt.
"No one will lose a dollar from their retirement savings," he wrote.
Mr Frydenberg said Labor had "sold out the blue collar workers", who would be taxed more under their policy in four years' time.
He said Mr Bowen was "disgracefully" comparing retirees to cane toads and had previously said "if you don't like it, don't vote for us".
"This is Chris Bowen, who has so much hubris and arrogance towards the retirees, who will be hit by Labor's superannuation tax," he said.
Mr Shorten said on Wednesday he'd been upfront on Labor's income tax and had made a promise last year to examine extending tax relief to high wage earners and those on the top marginal rate if and when the budget allowed it.
"I've been upfront. Upfront six months ago, upfront yesterday, upfront today," Mr Shorten said.
Under a Labor government, people earning more than $180,000 would pay higher taxes through a budget deficit levy, which would be removed once the budget reached a comfortable surplus in 2022/23.
Mr Shorten said Mr Morrison had failed to make it clear how much the coalition would give away to the top two or three per cent of wage-earners.
"I'm not going to let him run around the country taking his happy pills and having his little photos and getting away with (no) serious scrutiny," he said in Townsville.