After spending months arguing that Labor’s proposal to shut down some tax concessions would weaken the economy, Scott Morrison is hoping locking in fresh tax relief will do just the opposite.
Legislating planned tax cuts is the prime minister’s first priority for the 46th parliament, he revealed in the midst of his election campaign.
That means federal parliament is likely to be brought back by late June, to deliver refunds as high as $1080 to Australians earning up to $125000 in this year’s tax assessment.
Mr Morrison met with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yesterday, with laws required to lock in the extra spending in the government’s latest budget at the front of mind.
The government will also need to legislate its scheme to help some Australians buy their first home more easily, which is due to begin in January.
Under the program, the government would offer loan guarantees for first-home buyers, allowing them to buy properties with deposits of just five per cent instead of the typical 20 per cent.
Both the tax cuts and housing scheme have Labor’s backing, despite the opposition objecting to later stages of the government’s tax plan.
The plan will be fully rolled out in mid-2025, when everyone earning between $45000 and $200000 will be on the same 30per cent tax rate.
Luckily for the prime minister, any push back he does receive from the opposition is likely to be irrelevant in the lower house, with the coalition looking likely to win 77 seats, allowing them to govern in majority.
But it may be required to win over some crossbenchers in the Senate.
Mr Morrison has also promised to create 1.25 million new jobs over five years, and needs to find a new jobs and industrial relations minister now that Kelly O’Dwyer is retired.
Among the challenges facing the re-elected coalition will be keeping up Australia’s 28-year stretch of uninterrupted growth, a feat unheard of for comparable advanced economies.
Business lobbyists the Ai Group say keeping the economy strong will require more than just the government’s promised tax relief.
‘‘It has to deliver on a couple of other key fronts as well, around energy policy, around the productivity agenda,’’ chief executive Innes Willox said on Monday.
‘‘There’s a couple of key areas around workplace relations, not overturning the system, that we think need to be addressed.’’