SUBJECT: Tax cuts.
JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, will Labor wave the tax cuts through at the end of the day?
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: No we certainly won’t. What we are going to do is to fight for making this package better for the economy and also fairer. We’re prepared to facilitate debate, we’re doing that tonight because we understand that the economy needs a stimulus and that’s why we want Stage One of the tax cuts passed immediately. And Stage Two to be brought forward as well. We’re arguing for larger tax cuts sooner. We’re the only political party arguing that every worker should get a tax cut in this term of Parliament.
JOURNALIST: Talking about this issue over and over again, is this doing Labor political damage?
ALBANESE: We’ve got till 2022. I’ll give you the big tip. I’ve said we will hasten slowly. I’ve said we won’t be terribly concerned about the 24-hour media cycle. What we’re talking about here is the Government saying it’s prepared to block tax cuts for workers now because of tax cuts that might happen, that it wants to happen, in 2025. Quite frankly I believe that is an arrogant position on behalf of the Government. We’re prepared to facilitate debate in the House. So what’s more, we’re prepared and support the House and the Senate remaining here in Canberra on Thursday, continuing to sit until these issues are all dealt with. Because we want every Australian worker to get a tax cut in this term. That’s what we’re arguing for.
JOURNALIST: So why not just support the full package and then if Labor doesn’t like it when it wins the election repeal the third stage?
ALBANESE: Well we’re supporting good policy. We support good policy. We support good economic policy in the national interest. Thanks.
ALBANESE: We have said we are happy for the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of Reps should stay if our amendments are successful in the Senate, they should be then dealt with in the House. Every Australian worker can get a tax cut this week as a result of Labor’s position. The Government should negotiate in good faith. These have been put forward. It’s in the national interest. The Reserve Bank will meet today and is considering another interest rate cut. They’re doing that, they’re doing that because of the slowness in the economy, of the slow consumer demand which is there, the mortgage stress which is there, all the danger signs are there in the economy. It’s about time the Government stopped playing politics and produced good national economic policy.