Opposition leader Bill Shorten has issued Labor’s budget reply, telling the government to stop rewarding the rich and punishing the poor.
Shorten delivered his speech in parliament last night and said that while Labor will meet the government halfway on some issues, they are not prepared to hand it over on a silver platter.
He revealed Labor will support the proposed Medicare Medicare levy increase of 0.5 per cent from 2019, but only for workers earning more than $87,000 per year.
The government plans on using the money from the levy increase to help fund the NDIS.
The hike means the average Aussie worker will be paying $400 more a year for Medicare.
He also took aim at tax breaks for the rich, saying “the days of earning millions and paying nothing, are over – no matter who you are”, making several pointed looks at the prime minister.
However, a photo captured by a press photographer from the gallery appeared to show a very disinterested front bench.
Shorten said Labor would crack down tax evaders hiding funds in offshore accounts.
“The same goes for anyone minimising their tax by hiding money in offshore tax havens,” he said.
“Panama, the British Virgin Islands and the Caymans have become a refuge for trillions of dollars in global wealth.
“Labor will introduce a new set of laws to target those who aggressively minimise their tax – and leave the heavy lifting to middle class and working class people, who can’t pick and choose their tax jurisdiction.
“There’s only one reason people hide their money in tax havens – to avoid paying their fair share.
“So instead of beating our chests about ‘welfare crackdown 9.0’ and setting robo-debt collectors loose, Labor will get tough on people who earn – and owe – big dollars.”
He said that under Labor’s plan there would be a set a limit on how much people can deduct for managing their tax affairs, capping it at $3000.
The crackdown would raise $1.8 billion over a decade and would affect less than 1 per cent of taxpayers.