Marrickville residents in Anthony Albanese’s electorate react to stage 3 tax cuts

Marrickville residents in Anthony Albanese’s electorate react to stage 3 tax cuts
  • PublishedJanuary 25, 2024

The federal government’s move to halve the stage 3 tax cuts for higher earners and instead prioritise relief across the board has been described as both “good government” and an “unbelievable” broken promise.

The government is proposing to cut the bottom rate of tax, which applies below $45,000, from 19 per cent to 16 per cent.

That would give a tax cut of up to $804 to all taxpayers but the government also plans to reduce the stage 3 tax cuts for higher earners.

In Marrickville, which is in Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Sydney electorate of Grayndler, people’s opinions on the change vary depending on their circumstances.

But most people who spoke to the ABC were supportive of the shift.

A woman wearing glasses stood in front of a shop window
Anica Kearton says she was worried about the original plans.(ABC News: Sean Tarek Goodwin)

Anica Kearton, who was visiting from Melbourne, said the changes were more “equitable” and also meant she would now receive a tax cut.

“I was a bit worried about the original plans – a tax cut for the wealthy is not what’s needed in a cost-of-living crisis so it’s good to hear more people will be getting the benefits of a tax cut,” Ms Kearton said.

“We wouldn’t want our governments to be implementing policies that are no longer needed so I’m not worried about broken promises, I’m worried about what’s needed and what’s best for the community.”

Marrickville retiree Jim Neville said he was “bitterly disappointed” by the move, with two of his children now set to receive less of a tax cut.

Mr Neville said he would no longer be voting for Labor because of the backflip.

“If Albanese didn’t know when he originally voted for it that things might change then he’s not paying attention,” he said.

“The sheer basis of going to the people with a promise and breaking it in such a calculated way is just unbelievable.”

A woman wearing scrubs with a dog
Imogen Atkins says more relief is needed.(ABC News: Sean Tarek Goodwin)

Early-childhood education activist, Red Ruby Scarlet, who lives in Marrickville, said the idea of breaking election promises was something that only the media cared about.

“I think if you earn a lot and you want safe roads, good education, hospitals etc then suck it up princess,” Dr Scarlet said.

Another local, 31-year-old Imogen Atkins, who is a registrar doctor, said the rewrite of stage 3 tax cuts sounded reasonable but believed even more relief was needed across the board.

“I do think the tax brackets in general still needed to be updated — I mean $190,000 isn’t very much money for a household income these days,” Dr Atkins said.

“I think more relief could be used across the board but for the people above $150,000 as well.”

Independent MPs split

Zali Steggall member for Warringah. June 2021.
Zali Steggall says the tax cuts are “good government”.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Speaking to ABC Radio Sydney, independent MP for Warringah, Zali Steggall, who represents Sydney’s affluent northern beaches, said it was “good government” to adjust policy to suit current economic conditions.

But Ms Steggall strongly criticised federal Labor for misleading those on higher-incomes, who she said had already factored the promised cuts into their spending.

“Whilst I agree with the substance… the difficulty is the misleading lies that have continued, which have led other families assuming that a certain level of cut was coming,” Ms Steggall said.

“I am conflicted with this because I know it will benefit many people but it will also adversely impact others in our community.”

The independent member for Fowler, Dai Le, who represents outer south-western suburbs such as Liverpool, Warwick Farm and Cabramatta told ABC Radio Sydney that the changes were a “good move”.

Ms Le said the average weekly income in her electorate was around $550 and that struggling working families would benefit from the adjustments.

“When you go to an election, you make promises and at the time the economy is different – the situation is different,” Ms Le said.

“We’ve seen 13 rate rises and that’s going to flow on continuously to people who are paying mortgages.

“So of course you should change, as the leader you should have the courage to change.”


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