The Morrison government will reportedly try to make the Senate sit without a break until its tax cuts are pass.
The government’s leader in the Senate Mathias Cormann will put forward a motion to the Senate on the first sitting day next week to ensure the upper house sits until legislation for all stages of the tax cuts are passed, The Australian reports.
The coalition’s determination comes despite Labor confirming it will only support the first two parts of the three-stage tax relief plan.
The government needs the support of Labor or at least four crossbenchers to get the full package through the Senate.
Labor has always backed the first stage, which will deliver extra cash to low and middle income earners when they file their tax returns this year.
But it says it will only support the second stage – also aimed at people on low and middle income – if the government brings it forward to the 2019/20 financial year, rather than 2021/22 as planned.
It also wants the government to defer legislation on the third part of the package which is due to begin in 2023/24, suggesting it is too far down the track amid uncertain economic conditions.
The third stage will reduce the tax rate from 32.5 per cent to 30 per cent for people earning between $45,000 and $200,000.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who controls two votes in the Senate, says she spoke with Labor leader Anthony Albanese on Monday to discuss her position on the tax cuts.
“I’m going to have further talks with him next week because I want to see what the impact it is on the budget by passing the first and second stage,” she told Sky News.
One Nation has ruled out supporting the coalition’s entire tax plan, saying infrastructure spending and ensuring cheaper power should be a priority.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says Labor’s position shows it has not learnt the lessons of the election it lost.
“We will not split our plan to deliver income tax relief to all working Australians,” he said.
Labor finance spokeswoman Katy Gallagher says her party’s proposal to the government is “genuine and constructive”.
“It’s a pretty quick and arrogant response back from them, unfortunately,” she told ABC Radio National.
“It was very much a genuine offer from us. We’re concerned about how the economy is performing.”
Mr Albanese has also urged the government to kick off some infrastructure projects earlier than planned.
“We think that a bring-forward of the government’s proposed infrastructure investment would assist the economy, create jobs right now, help to boost productivity into the future.”
Centre Alliance has two votes in the upper house and is yet to make a call on the issue.
The only other crossbencher in play is Jacqui Lambie, who hasn’t confirmed where she stands on the package.
Senator Cory Bernardi backs the plan, while the nine Greens Senators oppose it.