Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is serious about getting the remainder of the Turnbull government’s 10-year company tax cut plan through the Senate this week after successfully steering personal income tax reductions into law.
Parliament will be sitting for the final week before the long winter break and the “Super Saturday” of by-elections on July 28.
“Our intention is to deal with it this week, our intention is to secure the necessary support through the Senate, in order to legislate those business tax cuts in full,” Senator Cormann told ABC television on Sunday.
“The same as we said we would not be splitting the personal income tax bills … we will not be splitting the company tax cut plan from here.”
Senator Cormann, who is also leader of the government in the Senate and its chief negotiator, faces a tough time with One Nation’s two senators joining Labor and the Greens in opposing the cuts which will take the corporate rate down to 25 per cent for all business.
“I have no intention of supporting corporate tax cuts,” One Nation leader Pauline Hanson told Fairfax Media.
She wants the government to crack down on multinationals trying to avoid their tax obligations while ending tax deductions for firms that use overseas call centres.
“People are fed up with talking to people from call centres from other countries.”
Labor’s finance spokesman Jim Chalmers said a vast majority of these tax cuts would go offshore and be spent on things like executive bonuses and pumping up dividends.
“So we won’t get the ‘bang for buck’ that we need in the Australian economy from these $80 billion in tax cuts,” Dr Chalmers told Sky News.
“They are unfair because they come at the expense of middle Australia, they are unwise because Treasury says the growth dividend would be negligible at best and felt far down the track and they are unaffordable because we have got that record debt.”
Tax cuts were legislated for firms with a turnover of up to $50 million last year.
The government fell short of two votes when it tried to get the remainder of the tax plan passed just before Easter and prior to Senator Hanson ditching her previous agreement with Senator Cormann to back it.
The government needs the support of eight out of 10 crossbenchers to pass the package.