Australian PM Turnbull reveals plan for middle-income tax cuts
CANBERRA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has flagged a tax cut for the nation's middle-income earners.
In a speech to the Business Council of Australia on Monday night, Turnbull said that in "challenging fiscal times" he and Treasurer Scott Morrison were working on an income tax plan that would "ease the burden on middle-income Australians."
Asked on Tuesday when Australians would start benefitting from the cuts, Turnbull said it would be his focus ahead of delivering the 2018 budget in May.
"We are determined to make sure that there is more money in the pockets of hard-working Australians," he told reporters on Tuesday.
"Our focus now is on middle-income tax cuts."
Under the current system, people earning 65,000 U.S. dollars per year or less can pay up to 32.5 percent tax while those in the next bracket, earning up to 135,000 U.S. dollars per year, pay 37 percent.
"Our marginal tax rates are high, bracket creep is a constant challenge that needs to be addressed," Turnbull said in his speech on Monday night.
"Higher taxes penalize people who are trying to get ahead.
"When you reward hard work and enterprise, you encourage hard work and enterprise - it's pretty simple."
Bill Shorten, leader of the Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP), criticized the proposal by Turnbull as a ploy "to keep the wolves from the door."
"What Malcolm does is on the week before a Newspoll, he comes up with a thought bubble, he says 'income tax cuts, that's a good idea,' but he's got no detail on it."
Turnbull also confirmed that his government would pursue tax cuts for all businesses in Australia.