Labor supports fast-tracking tax cuts for small to medium-sized businesses

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Company tax rates for small and medium-sized businesses will be cut five years earlier than expected after Bill Shorten announced Labor’s support of the Coalition’s plan to hasten tax relief.

The Morrison Government announced last week that it would seek to accelerate its tax cuts for businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million.

The tax rate for those companies has already been reduced from 30 to 27.5 per cent and is scheduled to drop to 25 per cent by July 2026, but the Coalition wants to bring those tax cuts forward so that the plan is fully implemented five years earlier.

Labor’s response

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen say they have crunched the numbers and have since decided to support the plan.

“We’re prepared to compromise in the national interest,” Mr Shorten said.

Mr Shorten said he would not oppose an idea simply because someone else had it.

“The good news is that people in small and medium business enterprises can vote Labor or Liberal,” he said.

“But if they vote Labor they’ll be getting the same tax reductions as they would if they voted Liberal.”

Mr Shorten and Mr Bowen said they would accommodate the decision in the budget bottom line by delaying the introduction of the Australian Investment Guarantee by a year.

A warning to small businesses from the Coalition

The Coalition Government has warned small businesses not to trust Labor, despite the Opposition agreeing to fast-track tax relief.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Coalition would welcome Labor’s support on the legislation.

Later in the day, the Minister for Jobs, Kelly O’Dwyer, said the Opposition Leader couldn’t be trusted because he hadn’t supported tax cuts for small businesses in the past.

“Bill Shorten says, for the moment, that he supports these changes but history shows that he simply supports higher taxes on small and family-sized businesses,” Ms O’Dwyer said.

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