From 1 July this year, every Australian taxpayer will get a tax cut. In my electorate of Jagajaga, that’s 77,000 people. That’s because our government has put together a tax plan that puts more money back into people’s pockets, a plan that benefits more Australians than what was offered under the plan put together by the Morrison government, a plan with fairness at its core.

This tax plan is the work of a responsible Labor government. We have listened to Australians, to people in communities like mine, who are feeling intense cost-of-living pressures at the moment. We have listened and we have acted on those concerns. We are building on our government’s existing economic plan, together with our work to get wages moving again, to bring inflation under control, to drive fairer prices for Australian consumers and to provide cost-of-living relief, such as energy bill relief, cheaper medicines, higher income support payments and the biggest boost to rent assistance in 30 years.

By dropping two tax rates and lifting two thresholds, we are giving everyone a tax cut, providing $359 billion in help with the cost of living, and returning the most bracket creep where we can do the most good—in middle Australia. As a result, the average taxpayer will pay $21,635 less of income tax over the next decade. That is a sizeable change. I know it will make a great difference to households in Jagajaga and across Australia.

In my community there are workers at cafes, at the local supermarket, in our local shops who do a couple of shifts a day or a week. They earn around $30,000 a year. These workers will get a tax cut of $354 from 1 July and will also receive $172 as a result of our government’s indexation of the Medicare levy—more than $500 directly back in their pockets. Real, tangible cost-of-living relief.

In Jagajaga, we have hundreds of nurses working at the Austin Hospital, the ONJ centre, the Warringal hospital and elsewhere. For those nurses earning $75,000 a year, our Labor government will deliver a tax cut of $1,554 from 1 July. If we’d maintain the tax cuts as legislated by the Morrison Liberals these nurses in my community would only be getting a $750 tax cut. Under our fairer tax cuts, these nurses on $75,000 a year in my local community will benefit from a tax cut that is more than double what they would have received under the Liberal’s plan.

For the electricians in Jagajaga, and there are 990 of them, earning around $100,000 a year, your tax cut will be $2,179 from 1 July—an extra $779 than those electricians would have otherwise received had the coalition’s version of the tax cuts been maintained. For the apprentice electricians in our community, earning around $46,000 a year, their tax cut is $845. That is a huge amount to have back in your pocket as you work towards finishing your apprenticeship.

For someone in my community earning $76,000 a year—one of the 1,577 primary school teachers in Jagajaga or the 584 plumbers or the 980 carpenters—they will get a tax cut of $1,579. A person on $85,000 a year, people like the 1,477 secondary school teachers in Jagajaga, and even the 115 tax agents in Jagajaga, will get a tax cut of $1,817 come 1 July. A receptionist—there are upwards of 1,100 of them in my community—or an aged-care or disability care worker, and there are 1,042 of them in Jagajaga, on $44,000 a year will get a tax cut of $774 from 1 July. And the 521 university lecturers working at places like La Trobe University on a wage of $119,000, they’ll get a tax cut of $2,654. As I’ve said, every single Australian taxpayer will benefit from a tax cut from 1 July. Everyone will get more money back in their pockets.

These fairer tax cuts are the latest part of our government’s ongoing response to the cost-of-living pressure at the moment. We have put in place cheaper child care, which has made child care more affordable for 6,600 families in my community. We’ve tripled the bulk-billing incentive to help make it easier for people to see a GP. And in just two months this has lifted the bulk-billing rate in Jagajaga by 3.1 per cent. Locally, we have the Heidelberg Medicare urgent care clinic, that our government established, seeing patients and providing people with a way to see a GP in an emergency that doesn’t have to end up at the Austin Hospital.

We’ve delivered cheaper medicines. Victorians have saved $52 million on 4.7 million cheaper scripts since the changes our government introduced. And we’re rolling out support, taking $250 off power bills for eligible households. And I have received feedback from locals about how helpful this program has been and how they appreciate that the money is coming straight off their bill via the energy provider without them having to do anything about it.

I could go on. Our cost-of-living relief is extensive—building more social and affordable homes, expanding paid parental leave, increasing rent assistance, tens of thousands of free-fee TAFE places, getting wages moving again—because our government gets it. All of us, from the Prime Minister down, hear from Australians that it’s not an easy time at the moment, that the pressures are real, that families are making significant decisions about what they can spend money on and where they have to save. That’s why we are prioritising all of these measures. That’s why we are prioritising these fairer tax cuts: to help take some of the pressure off, to provide for households, to support people to have a better future.

Our fairer tax cuts put money back into the pockets of Australian women. Our government’s tax cuts will see Australia women on average receive a tax cut of $1,649 each year. Under our plan, 90 per cent of working women paying tax will get a bigger tax cut than they would have under the Liberals’ version of the tax cuts. For women in the care economy—such a big sector for women—97 per cent of childcare workers, disability carers and aged-care workers will be better off under our plan. These tax cuts are going to be better for so many people, including in my community, and that is why our government has introduced these changes.

Of course, while our approach has been to help Australians with the cost-of-living pressures they are facing at the moment, that doesn’t seem to have been the approach of those opposite. What’s become clear is that they’re not focused on supporting Australians who need support the most. In fact, they’re focused on the politics. We’ve had members on the other side, on the opposition benches, who reportedly told the Leader of the Opposition: ‘Don’t do it. Don’t support the changes.’ They wanted the Liberals to not support tax cuts for every single Australian taxpayer. They wanted the Liberals to say no to what, in some cases, is a doubling of tax cuts for workers who need that support the most.

When the Deputy Leader of the Opposition was asked if the opposition would roll back Labor’s tax cuts, she said: ‘Well, this is our position. This is absolutely our position.’ The Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Treasurer have taken similarly confused approaches to what should have been a simple decision for them. Within a single day the shadow Treasurer had gone from calling the government’s fairer tax cuts ‘Marxism’—I think that was in the morning—to saying on radio in the afternoon that he might vote for them. The Leader of the Opposition originally called for an early election on a policy that he has now said he and his party will support. I do think it must hurt those opposite for the ‘no-alition’ to ultimately have to say yes to something. While the opposition may get there in the end, it’s clear that their heart isn’t in it and it’s clear their loyalty and their support aren’t with middle Australians looking for support with cost-of-living pressures. They have once again revealed their priorities, which are not about supporting those nurses, electricians, apprentices and childcare workers in my community—who I’ve talked about—or in communities right around Australia.

Some of the opposition from those opposite has been framed around aspiration—this idea that, because our government supports middle Australia, we’re somehow not supporting aspiration. I find that concept quite offensive, to be honest. Those opposite seem to want to live in a country that doesn’t recognise that aspiration is something that Australians right across the board hold. Australians of all kinds, in all sorts of positions, are aspirational. They want a better life for themselves, for their kids and for their communities. That’s what they work hard for. Aspiration isn’t just for Gina Rinehart or Clive Palmer. Aspiration isn’t just for those opposite watching Nemesis tonight and contemplating what their own future leadership pathway might be. Aspiration is something for every single Australian, and that is something that our government is recognising through these tax cuts. We are recognising that, for those feeling the cost of living the most at the moment, the extra money they will get in their pockets will be a great relief as they—as aspirational Australians—continue to work hard to pay their bills and their mortgages,, to put food on the table and to make all those decisions about what their family can afford. They will be aspirational and they will be supported by this government with tax cuts that are targeting people who need that support the most. I know that for some households that will mean they will be able to do things that they may previously have thought were out of reach. I’m really pleased to have heard from some people in my community that that is the case as a result of these tax cuts.

I acknowledge that I’ve heard from many constituents right across my local community who have taken the time to share with me their thoughts on the previous stage 3 tax cuts and the changes our government has made. Many people in my community have been contacting me for some time now, asking for changes similar to what our government has outlined and asking for us to make these tax changes fairer for Australians on middle and lower incomes who need support the most. I’ve had positive feedback from those people and from others since we have announced these changed tax cuts.

I have also heard from people in my community who wanted the coalition’s version of the tax cuts maintained, and I respect the opinion of those people. In politics, our decisions can never please or satisfy everyone. It is the job of a good government to think about what is best and fairest for the country and to act accordingly, and that’s what this government has done. From the Prime Minister taking these changes to the National Press Club and explaining to the nation why the government felt the need to do this work to support Australians feeling the cost-of-living crisis the most, this government has behaved responsibly. It looked at the situation that we find ourselves in. It looked at the tax system that is going to best set our country up to be a country that is fair into the future, a country that supports aspiration right across the board, not just for Gina and Clive. That is what this government is doing here. It has done so in a responsible manner.

We have been clear and upfront about the changes we are making and how those changes will benefit all Australian taxpayers. I am pleased that from 1 July our government’s decision means every taxpayer will benefit from a tax cut. I’m pleased and proud to be in here supporting these changes. I know that in my community these changes will mean more money back into the pockets of more people. They will provide that cost-of-living relief to the people who need it the most at the moment. They will provide more support to low- and middle-income earners, those people who are feeling the most pressure from the cost of living. These, together with the work our government is doing in so many other areas, such as bringing down the cost of seeing a GP, making medicines cheaper and making it more affordable for families to send their children to child care, are tangible things that this government has done and will continue to do to support Australian families, support working Australians and make sure that the country we live in, the country that we all work hard in, is one that is fair now and into the future.

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