Hanson urged to ‘back the battlers’
PAULINE Hanson is being urged to "back the battlers" and vote against the government's $144 billion tax relief package, which will deliver a rebate of up to $530 for low and middle income Australians from July 1 next year.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten called on the One Nation leader to vote against the plan today after she indicated in a speech to Parliament that she may support the Coalition.
"Pauline, remember who voted for you," he said today.
EARLIER: Labor attacks income tax plan
"You're meant to be the champion of Queensland battlers - 1.9 million Queensland battlers will be better off under Labor's tax plan than the government's.
Mr Shorten said Senator Hanson appeared to have forgotten who voted for her since being elected to Parliament, calling it a "recipe for disaster" for One Nation.
"I say to Senator Hanson, back the battlers - Labor will," he said.
The seven-year tax package - which will provide tax relief of up to $10 a week for millions of workers and lift the 32.5 per cent tax bracket ceiling to $90,000 initially and then to $120,000 in stages one and two - is up for debate in the Senate today as the government tries to pass the bill before July 1.
One Nation's two votes will help the government secure support to pass the bill but it will still need either the Centre Alliance senators or independent Senator Tim Storer.
Senator Storer opposes stages two and three, while Centre Alliance wants the government to split the bill and remove stage three.
Stage three of the tax cuts will abolish the 37 per cent tax bracket, extending tax relief for Australians on incomes up to $200,000 by including them in the 32.5 per cent tax bracket.
Labor revealed yesterday it would only support stage one of the plan or would vote against the entire package if the government refused to split the bill.
The Opposition is offering an alternate plan that would provide a rebate of up to $928 for low and middle income workers but no tax relief for higher paid Australians.
Labor has indicated it would rollback the government's tax package if it wins government if the Coalition manages to secure crossbench support to pass the bill now.
Senator Hanson indicated she would back the tax cuts but did not explicitly state her position in Parliament today, reserving her call until the final vote.
But she hit out at the Labor leader, saying: "Do I need to remind Labor that tens of hundreds of electricians, plumbers, nurses, secondary school teachers, mechanics and welders earn more than $90,000 and will miss out on a permanent tax cut if Labor opposes Stage two."
She also criticised the government for providing tax cuts when federal debt was so high.
"It is no accident that in an election year the government wants to rain money down on citizens in the form of tax cuts," she said.
But Senator Hanson acknowledged Australians were "doing it tough" from cost of living pressures.
The senator called on the government to up its efforts to go after multinational companies avoiding tax.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said today the government would not split the bill but aimed to pass the tax package in full.