PM set for first major policy win with business tax cuts

PM set for first major policy win with business tax cuts
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo by Australian Embassy Jakarta via Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has received backing from Labor to proceed with plans to accelerate business tax cuts for small and medium businesses.

The proposed plans will see a 25 per cent tax rate for firms with a turnover between $10m and $50m come into effect from July 2021, five years earlier than the government initially stated.

It will be the first policy victory for Morrison since he assumed office in the wake of a leadership spill which ousted former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in August.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said: “we will vote the legislation through the parliament” as well as making a commitment “to the same tax rates for small and medium enterprises” under either government.

This announcement follows Labor’s own policy statement which included several big plans for education spending and early childhood. Bill Shorten’s party also offered their support for an accelerated tax cut, after initially agreeing to a cut from 30 to 27.5 per cent.

The proposal is expected to cost $3.2bn over the next four years which the government has stated it will finance with economic growth and surplus.

Labor leader Bill Shorten was quick to dismiss accusations that his party had subordinated itself to the government in offering its backing.

“We are determined to restore people’s faith in politics,” he said. “That means sometimes, not simply opposing an idea became someone else had it.

“we are prepared to compromise in the national interest.”

“Where there is a good idea, Labor will see if we can make it work.”

The policy bipartisanship exhibited here is not the first enjoyed by Morrison, with Labor also backing the government last month when it increased the penalties for food tampering, following national uproar at the discovery of needles in strawberries.

However, it will be the first time the government has enjoyed bipartisanship in a major policy area.

The government plans to put forward its draft legislation on accelerated tax cuts to Parliament when it resumes next week.