Update, 6 March: Here's the audio from a doorstop interview I did on the topic this morning.
Andrew Leigh MP
Labor Spokesperson on Coalition Costings
Member for Fraser
5 March 2013
Hockey Exposed Over Cuts
Joe Hockey has been exposed on the Coalition’s plans to lower the tax-free threshold after an embarrassing press conference this morning.
At the press conference, Joe Hockey shamelessly attempted to justify his commitment to scrap low and middle income tax cuts.
Yet, mysteriously, the transcript distributed to the parliamentary press gallery had this exchange omitted from the text.
“Mr Hockey and Mr Abbott are at odds over the Coalition’s policy to scrap income tax cuts for over 7 million hard working Australians”, said Labor Spokesperson on Coalition Costings Andrew Leigh.
“Lifting the tax free threshold delivered tax cuts to all taxpayers with incomes of up to $80,000, with most receiving at least $300 a year, and many part time workers receiving up to $600.
“It’s bad enough that the Coalition are hiding their policies. Now they’re trying to hide their own words.”
THE ‘EDITED’ TRANSCRIPT
JOE HOCKEY: We have said, repeatedly, it is one of the initiatives that we cannot afford because it is based on the proceeds of the mining tax and the mining tax has been a complete failure. Now the Government is borrowing money to pay those things. It is unsustainable. You can’t hand out money that is being borrowed from the next generation. It is not what people want.
[The following two lines were omitted from Mr Hockey’s distributed transcript]
JOURNALIST: The tax free thresholds changes (inaudible)
JOE HOCKEY: $3 dollars. That is what you said? [Turning to Lib candidate for Parramatta] $ 3 dollars!
JOURNALIST:[inaudible] It is part of the compensation package for the carbon tax. You have said you [inaudible].
JOE HOCKEY: You will see our final tax proposal after we see the books ten days into the election campaign.