ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER BUDGET BOTCH UP FROM FRYDENBERG
After bungling the Energy Assistance Payment, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has now bungled his promised tax offset.
As soon as the budget was handed down last week, Labor said that we would support immediate tax relief for low and middle-income Australians - it was Labor policy, after all.
With two sittings days following the budget, the government could have easily passed these changes into law.
Yet instead, the Liberals chose to sit on their hands, with Scott Morrison claiming “if the Labor Party says they support our tax cuts, then the Tax Office can administer it on that basis.”
Unfortunately, the Tax Office takes a different view, stating categorically “At the ATO we administer the tax and super laws as they stand.”
Scott Morrison appears to have confused his proposed tax offset with changes to withholding rates. Because the proposed tax relief for low and middle income earners is delivered through an end-of-year lump sum payment (the LMITO), assessments must be based on the laws of the day.
The Australian Tax Office put out a second media release late yesterday clarifying how they can administer withholding rates, but that does not change anything regarding the administration of the proposed LMITO offset changes in the Budget which apply to the 2018-19 tax year.
When it comes to taking money away from welfare recipients, the Government is quicker than Usain Bolt. But when it comes to delivering timely income tax relief, it’s the opposite.
The longer an election is delayed, the greater the risk that low and middle-income Australians won’t get their promised tax offset on time.
If you can’t manage to legislate bipartisan tax relief, why should Australians think you can manage the economy?
Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.