SUBJECTS: Tax cuts; State of Origin.
RICHARD KING: Well it just so happens we have the Federal Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese on the line. Good morning Mr Albanese.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Good morning. Good to be with you.
KIM BAUER: Well thank you for joining us. Okay, so Labor supports two of the packages but not the third stage. Why is that?
ALBANESE: Well the third stage of course is off on the never never. It’s – we’re talking about 2025 when it actually comes in. So what the economy needs right now given how soft it is; we have low economic growth, we have wages that aren’t keeping up with living standards, we have a doubling of the debt on this Government’s watch, we have low consumer demand; quite clearly we need some economic stimulus. So what we’re saying is Stage One, give that the tick, Stage Two which is due to come in in 2022, we want the part of that that will benefit all those on incomes above $90,000 to be brought forward to the current financial year. That would provide up to $1,350 for all those who earn above $90,000. And the difference between us and the Government is that they seem to be sticking to this idea about what happens in 2024-25. Ours is the only plan that will deliver tax cuts for everyone this term.
KING: What Josh Frydenberg’s highlighting and I think the Government’s been highlighting for some time now is that on May the 18th we voted for the – well they’re saying we voted for the Coalition’s tax cuts and therefore you should be voting with them as well.
ALBANESE: Well of course people voted to elect Labor members of Parliament as well as Coalition members of Parliament. And we’re entitled to put forward our views and to represent the people who voted for us. But I’ll make the other point, the Coalition won one election on May the 18th. They didn’t win a number of elections. They didn’t win two or three elections which is what they’re saying in their arrogance. They haven’t been elected forever and these tax cuts are off in the never never that they’re talking about. In some 262 weeks’ time. What we’re saying is that we can get tax cuts through the Parliament next week for every single worker in the country unlike the Coalition’s proposal, which will provide some tax relief at the low end but nothing at the medium and indeed for every worker. And it is only Labor’s proposal that’s been put forward constructively because of the softening that’s happened in the economy on this Government’s watch.
BAUER: Mathias Cormann reckons you’re pretty reckless you’re putting everything at risk by saying this?
ALBANESE: Well, what we’re doing is actually trying to be economically responsible, putting forward a constructive proposal. But the Government just wants an argument. They don’t want solutions and we have not come up with different plans. We’re acknowledging that that the Government certainly has put forward an argument for tax cuts from July 1. Now, it’s the Government that are responsible for breaking that promise by not bringing the Parliament back until after that date. But with regard to the second proposal, we’re not trying to rewrite it, we’re just saying bring it forward because the stimulus is required now. And the The Daily Telegraph article that you referred to actually has an economist quoted saying yes we need more economic activity in the second half of the year. Well it’s beyond me how giving tax cuts in 262 weeks’ time will stimulate the economy in the coming months.
KING: All right. Look thank you very much for having a chat with us on a much lighter note, great to see New South Wales win State of Origin two on Sunday night.
ALBANESE: It was a cracker and they had – I watched it from Melbourne in my hotel room and they really dominated, unlike any team I’ve seen for a long time.
KING: Including the Rabbitohs.
ALBANESE: Indeed. Cam Murray just keeps going. He made it great contribution but the whole team played exceptionally well and I very much look forward to game three.
KING: Yes indeed. Thank you very much for having a chat with us this morning.
ALBANESE: Thanks very much for having me on again. Bye.
KING: Bye bye. Federal Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.