According to Phil Coorey in the AFR:
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has put his colleagues on notice by warning them not to ask for more big-spending measures should Labor win the election.
Speaking to AFR Weekend after releasing Labor’s policy costings, Mr Bowen said any new spending proposals would only be considered if they were accompanied by savings measures.
Given that, in a post-Swan world, tax increases are savings, Australians will have to expect more tax increases to come. And not just inflation. There will be no end of new spending proposals from rebuilding the school hall generation to specially salary supplements for preferred gender and race groups (as long as they are in a union), to possibly even a program to send an Australian to the moon to lay NBN fibre.
Just wait for them – income tax increases, company tax increases, capital gains tax increases.
And don’t forget all those subsidies as Labor likes to refer to them – the income tax free threshold – gone; franking credit refunds for charities (but not unions or political parties of course) – gone, tax deduct-ability of employee related expenses (except union fees of course) – gone; tax deduct-ability of charitable donations – gone. These are subsidies after all.
In the minds of the Labor economic brains trust, Chris Bowen, Jim Chalmers and Andrew Leigh, as long as the Commonwealth is collecting less than 100% of GDP in tax, there is still scope for “savings”.
And for those in doubt, the following list reported by Tim Colebatch, probably provided by the Labor economics brains trust, lists their proposed budget savings:
• End dividend imputation cheques to non-taxpayers: $14.2 billion
• Scrap the Coalition’s stage 2 tax cuts: $13.63 billion
• Reform tax breaks for trusts: $7.79 billion
• Cut tax breaks for superannuation: $5.42 billion
• Budget repair levy on higher incomes: $3.8 billion
• Close negative gearing and increase capital gains tax: $2.79 billion
• Cut spending on consultants: $2.64 billion
• Close tax breaks for multinationals using tax havens: $1.53 billion.