Australia approves largest tax plan ever

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Canberra, June 21 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday recorded a landmark victory as the Senate approved the largest tax reform ever that will ensure citizens pay less tax in future.

The package was passed after the Centre Alliance performed a U-turn on its initial rejection of tax cuts for high income earners on Wednesday.

The $106 billion Personal Income Tax Plan will become law after the package is cleared in the Upper House of Parliament, Xinhua news agency reported.

Support from One Nation and Centre Alliance got the Coalition Bill over the line, with resistance from the Labour, the Greens and Independent Tim Storer.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said: “In passing our personal income tax plan through the Parliament, the (government) has ensured Australians will be paying less tax, and will be rewarded for their hard work both now and into the future.”

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Under the first of three stages in the plan, low and middle-income earners will get tax relief of up to $390 a year from July 1, with benefits for people earning up to $147,500 to come into place in 2024.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) released a paper on Thursday, arguing the tax cuts do not deliver promised benefits, and the budget cannot afford the package.

In March, the Turnbull government had fallen short by two Senate votes.

–IANS

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