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Australian MPs Call For More Tax Cuts

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

29 December 2004


Australian Prime Minister John Howard has rejected calls from coalition MPs to share out the government’s fiscal surplus and bring about a cut in the top rate of income tax.

An influential group of some 25 coalition members is currently formulating new tax and social security proposals that recommend a cut in the 47% top rate of income tax, to bring it more into line with the 30% corporate tax rate.

The group argues that with budget surpluses of more than A$24 billion over the next four years, the government has plenty of scope to reduce the tax burden, and they are targeting those on earnings of A$50,000 per year or more.

However, their arguments have failed to move Mr Howard, who countered recently that the government cannot at the moment afford to bring down taxation.

"I think everyone's in favour of lower taxation. I've never met a person who is not - it's human nature,” Howard remarked.

"But you've got to pay for certain things. It's a question of striking the right balance and we'll always do that,” he added.

However, expectations are running high that the government will continue its tax-cutting policies when control of the Senate switches to the Liberal/National Coalition in July 2005.


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