Jun 2, 2004

Families in Grayndler won’t know how much they owe John Howard…

FAMILIES IN GRAYNDLER WON’T KNOW HOW MUCH THEY OWE JOHN HOWARD UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 2 June 2004

Thousands of families in Grayndler are being kept in the dark about their family tax debts by the Howard Government until after the election, Labor Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese said today.

“The Federal Government plans to avoid telling families about family payment debts until voters have gone to the polls.

“In Grayndler each year an estimated 2,600 families receive debts averaging $900 each because of the government’s flawed rules.

“It looks like the Government is deliberately avoiding telling us how much families might owe until it’s too late for voters to protest at the ballot box. It’s time Howard and Costello started standing up for local families and seniors doing it tough because of higher taxes and charges” Mr Albanese said.

Family tax payments were based on each family’s estimate of their annual income each year. Families were expected to estimate their annual income in advance. If a family earns more than expected, they are expected to pay this back when they lodge their tax return.

“The Federal Government has now confirmed it will not advise families of debts until at least September 5 – potentially after a Federal election. I am sure families in Grayndler won’t be hoodwinked by this tricky move,”

“Meanwhile these are the same families earning less than $52,000 a year who missed out on any tax relief in the Budget.

“Across Australia, there are 8.5 million families and singles who won’t benefit from John Howard’s tax cuts.

“Months before the last election John Howard waived debts to avoid a backlash from families then afterwards he stripped their tax returns. He’s at it again.

Any money handed out will be eaten up by existing family payment debts – which we won’t even know about until after we’ve voted,” Mr Albanese concluded.