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Australian Tax Cuts Now Urgent, Ministers Say

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

19 December 2017

Australia's Finance Minister has said that company tax cuts are now "even more urgent" and that it would be "absolutely reckless and irresponsible" for the opposition to continue to block reform legislation.

Mathias Cormann made the comments during a joint press conference with Treasurer Scott Morrison, which marked the release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

Cormann stressed that the US is now likely to cut its corporate tax rate to 21 percent, and that the UK and France are looking to reduce their rates to 17 percent and 25 percent, respectively. He argued that Australian workers must not be left behind in this race to reduce rates, and that the "future job security, the future career prospects, the future wage growth of Australian workers depend on the Senate passing the Government's company tax cuts."

Morrison told the press conference several times that "the Trump tax cuts are coming." He said that the Government has "the plan in place to deal with" the impact of US tax reform, but accused Labor leader Bill Shorten of "voting to stop it."

Morrison was asked whether it will be possible for the Government to pass its intended reforms to both the company tax and personal income tax systems, or if it was an option for the Government to "reduce the level of the cut for big business" to give itself more money for personal tax cuts.

Morrison replied: "Well, we'll just keep working the issue. Our policies and commitments remain the same. We're working to meet all of those objectives."

Cormann acknowledged that the Government has just 29 senators out of a total Senate membership of 76. He said that, as a result, "to get anything through we need 10 non-government senators to support our reform agenda."

TAGS: tax | business | corporation tax | Australia | United Kingdom | legislation | tax rates | France | United States | tax reform | individual income tax

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