Anthony Albanese has resisted calls to drop tax cuts for Australia’s wealthiest, despite costings revealing women and the vulnerable will be left short-changed.
In recent days, crossbench MPs and senators have urged the government to shelve the cuts to come into effect in 2024, arguing the current economic circumstances required a rethink.
Costings by the independent parliamentary budget office, commissioned by the Greens, found 77 per cent of the tax cuts would benefit the wealthiest 20 per cent.
Meanwhile, women are set to receive just around 50 cents for every dollar a man receives, with $160bn expected to flow to men and $80bn women.
The third tranche of tax cuts was legislated in 2018 as part of an overhaul by then treasurer Scott Morrison.
Under the cut, the 37 per cent tax bracket will be abolished and the top 45 per cent bracket will kick in from $200,000. The 32.5 per cent bracket will be cut to 30 per cent.
Labor originally opposed the cuts in the lead up to the 2019 election, but waved them through parliament after it was unable to secure amendments.
Costings for the cuts have since blown out to $243.5 billion over the forward estimates.
Greens leader Adam Bandt accused the government of “turbocharging inequality and widening the gender pay gap”.
“In their first year, these tax cuts will give the top 1 per cent of income earners as much as the bottom 65 per cent combined,” he said.
“This week’s job summit must reconsider the stage three tax cuts for the wealthy, or everyday workers will fall further behind.”
The government has repeatedly hosed down calls to consider tax reform at Friday’s meeting.
Asked about his position on the tax cuts at the National Press Club on Monday, Mr Albanese said his position remained “unchanged”.
However, when pressed further, Mr Albanese declined to provide an iron-clad guarantee he wouldn’t do anything to repeal them.
“We face real challenges; that’s a reality of the fiscal position that we inherited – a trillion dollars of debt. That remains something that we’re doing our best to deal with,” he added.