DAVID LIPSON: Well, the Shadow Minister for Finance is Senator Jane Hume, she joined me earlier. Senator Hume, thanks for being with us. I think the question most people have in their minds is, how can the opposition be so irate about the Prime Minister's broken promise, but still committed to waving that broken promise through Parliament?
JANE HUME: David, the Prime Minister's lies and that broken promise means that delivering the stage three tax reforms, as they're currently legislated, as they're currently funded and as they're currently due to start on the 1st of July, 2024, is now impossible. And these were really significant reforms. They were reforms that were calibrated very carefully, stage one, two and stage three, and that has now been ditched. That's been dumped. So the appetite for genuine tax reform has completely gone from this government. Now the Coalition is always going to be committed to lower taxes, to lower to simpler and to fairer taxes, which is why we won't oppose the reduction in that $0.19 tax rate to $0.16 in the dollar. However, the Coalition is very much committed to going to the next election with a tax reform package that is in keeping with the stage three reforms that will deliver those lower, simpler, fairer taxes but will also fight bracket creep.
DAVID LIPSON: I do want to get to those elements that hard work and opportunity. I just want to stick on this broken promise element, because for the last two and a bit weeks, the opposition has been hammering the government over this and continues to do so. Should the Prime Minister have broken this promise?
JANE HUME: He's lied to the Australian people. He looked Australians in the eye and he lied-
DAVID LIPSON: Should he stay in? Should he have broken the promise?
JANE HUME: He has had nearly two years in government, if he was genuine about the cost of living and addressing the cost of living, he could have done this two years ago. Indeed, he went into the last election saying that the cost of living was the number one issue for ordinary Australians and yet at the same time still committed to delivering those stage three tax cuts, delivering tax reform to deliver the tax reform.
DAVID LIPSON: You're now committed to backing this broken promise in. I mean, haven't you ditched the stage three tax cuts as well, the original package?
JANE HUME: Well we are absolutely committed to delivering reform there is no doubt about that and we will take that to the next election. We will deliver on the commitment to lower, simpler and fairer taxes. We'll enshrine that aspiration into this tax system. But most importantly, we will do that in a way that is fully costed, that goes through the appropriate process, which we know labor did not do. They circumvented cabinet and the expenditure review committee to make this decision. They carved out so many cabinet ministers because clearly they didn't trust them not to leak. But most importantly, we will also make sure that when we do that, when we come to the Australian electorate, we will seek a mandate and it will provide for Australia's future security and it will guarantee essential services.
DAVID LIPSON: Is your preference to bring back all the elements of the package that you have now helped throw overboard?
JANE HUME: Well, we would love to do that. However, as I said earlier, stage one, two and stage three was a very carefully calibrated and carefully timed package. The calibration and the timing of that package has been dumped by Anthony Albanese, despite promising more than 100 times that he would press on with it. So now we have to recalibrate. But we will commit to those lower and simpler, fairer taxes because without that we're not going to be able to inject that, you know, turbocharge the economy, bring back economic growth that doesn't simply rely on migration, bring back productivity so that we can all have wage rises that aren't inflationary.
DAVID LIPSON: When you talk about a simpler tax system, is the Coalition committed to removing that 37 per cent tax rate, or do you now accept it's important to keep that in the income tax system, to keep it progressive?
JANE HUME: Removing that 37 per cent tax bracket was one of the most important elements of the entire personal income tax plan. Stage one, stage two, stage three, because it meant that anybody earning between $45,000 and $200,000 would never be subject to bracket creep, and bracket creep is pernicious. It is the tax that you don't know you're getting. Bracket creep robs your future prosperity, which is why it is so important to bring those tax brackets to make those tax brackets simpler and fairer because it makes all Australians wealthier in the end.
DAVID LIPSON: Jane Hume, we'll have to leave it there. Thanks for talking to us.
JANE HUME: Great to be with you, David.
DAVID LIPSON: And Senator Jane Hume is the Shadow Minister for Finance.