May 31, 2006

Tax Laws Amendment (Personal Tax Reduction and Improved Depreciation Arrangement

Tax Laws Amendment (Personal Tax Reduction and Improved Depreciation Arrangements) Bill 2006

31 May 2006

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (10.28 am)—I second the amendment. The fact is that the highest marginal tax rates in this country are paid by people moving from welfare to work. The latest budget failed to address that. When there can be a 70 per cent loss on additional earnings of people moving from welfare to work, you have a situation which is long overdue to be addressed. We hear a lot of rhetoric about this government being family-friendly. That is why this amendment seeks to point out that the government has simply failed when it comes to addressing issues of workforce participation.

Despite the fact that there are some improvements contained in this bill, the government has not addressed three primary issues: firstly, second earners, most particularly women moving into the workforce, still continue to suffer extremely high marginal tax rates; secondly, individuals who move from welfare into work are punished; and, thirdly, middle- and low-income families with dependent children also can suffer extremely high marginal tax rates.

When those issues are combined with the failure of the government to address accessibility and affordability of child care and to take into account that it is families and low-income people who are being put under pressure from the extreme industrial relations changes that the government has made, they produce the fact that the government should support this second reading amendment moved by my colleague the shadow Treasurer, the member for Lilley, and I commend the amendment to the House.