CANBERRA, AAP – Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hasn’t ruled out further extending a tax benefit for low income earners, which is due to expire at the end of this financial year.
However, it was not mentioned in the mid-year budget review that was handed down on Thursday.
Economists expect the treasurer will need to extend the low and middle income tax offset for another year to 2022/23.
Otherwise, they say, the treasurer will be seen effectively raising taxes in an election year before the so-called stage three tax cuts come into play in 2023/24.
Mr Frydenberg said he will have more to say about any tax measures when he hands down the budget on March 29, which has been brought forward from its traditional May slot due to the likely timing of a federal election that month.
“At every turn the Morrison government has been focused on cutting taxes,” Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra as he handed down the 2021/22 mid-year economics and fiscal outlook.
“This will be a key battleline at the next election. Labor always stands for higher taxes to chase their high spending.”
Even so, tax experts are disappointed there is no sign of the government undertaking any major tax reform.
“The government’s tax-reform-free stance seems to be continuing without any light at the end of the tunnel,” BDO national tax technical leader Lance Cunningham told AAP.
“BDO calls for tax reform to be placed firmly on the agenda ahead of the next budget and election in 2022 to make the tax system in Australia fit for purpose.”