Labor to back retaining budget fix levy

Labor to back retaining budget fix levy

Based on Parliamentary Budget Office modelling commissioned by Labor at last year's election, retaining the 2 per cent temporary budget fix levy on those earning over $180,000 would only raise $1.55 billion in 2019-2020, compared to $3.55 billion raised from the proposed higher Medicare levy in the same year. "Labor will not support spending $19.4 billion on the wealthiest 2% of Australians", he said in his budget reply on Thursday night.

Shorten said only those earning more than $87,000 a year should face the government's 0.5% increase in the Medicare levy, which will fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Later the treasurer said the cost over the "next" 10 years would be $65.4 billion.

Deloitte partner David Watkins said people earning more than $100,000 comprised 18.3 per cent of the taxpayer population but would contribute nearly half the revenue from the extra Medicare levy.

In government it would retain the coalition's budget deficit levy, due to expire on June 30, effectively creating a top tax rate nudging 50 per cent.

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"Labor can not support making people on modest incomes give up more of their pay packet, especially when this budget goes out of its way to give taxpayer money to millionaires and multinationals", he said.

It was a "budget of big government, higher tax and more debt" and "devoid of values altogether".

The Labor leader also confirmed the Opposition would not support the Government's efforts to address housing affordability, deciding instead to continue to call for changes to negative gearing.

Treasurer Scott Morrison says previous measures were clearly getting stalled in Parliament.

But it was anxious that "the weakness of this government will turn $6 billion tax on the banks into a $6 billion charge on every Australian with a bank account or a mortgage".

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Bill Shorten also announced Labor would cap the amount people can deduct for the management of their tax affairs at $3000 in a bid to stop people exploiting holes in the tax net.

A Labor budget would reverse the Medicare freeze immediately, restore $22 billion he says the government has stripped from schools and another $600 million torn from TAFE. Although affecting only one in 100 taxpayers, this would save $1.3 billion over the medium term.

"Loopholes for millionaires means middle Australia pays more", he said.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said he wouldn't be drawn into a debate on "semantics".

Shorten said Labor would crack down tax evaders hiding funds in offshore accounts.

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