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Labor's Desperate Attempt to Distract From Their $387 Billion Tax Bill

12 April 2019

Bill Shorten and the Labor Party are refusing to own up to their $387 billion tax bill, dodging questions about the cost of their policies and casting aspersions on Treasury officials and their work.

In a desperate attempt to distract attention from their $387 billion tax bill, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen is clutching at straws by claiming Treasury costings of alternative policies are not legitimate.

It is an inconvenient truth for Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen that one of his predecessors and now ALP President, Wayne Swan, said as Treasurer in 2012:

“Treasury regularly gives us information on policies or particular proposals which may come from a number of groups … Because it's very important to have an informed debate about the costs of various alternatives.” ABC News Online, 7 November 2012

These costings include $230 billion in higher personal income tax, which Chris Bowen himself admitted at the National Press Club just this week:

“Factoring in the cost of Labor’s enhanced Low and Middle Income Tax Offset, the difference between Labor and the Liberals is $226 billion.” National Press Club, 10 April 2019

These costings also include $57 billion for the retiree tax, to which Chris Bowen and Labor themselves admit.

The total of Labor’s new taxes is $387 billion over the decade, taking tax as a share of the economy under Labor to 25.9 per cent, making a potential Shorten government the highest-taxing in Australian history.

Despite Chris Bowen’s desperate attempts at distraction, none of his frontbench colleagues have disputed that Labor’s new taxes total $387 billion, the equivalent of an extra yearly tax bill of $5,400 per household.

Chris Bowen is welcome to come out of witness protection and explain the costings behind his big new tax experiment on the Australian economy, including the negative gearing policy which he has bungled.

As he himself has admitted, Labor’s new taxes would start in only 12 weeks’ time on 1 July. A vote for the Labor Party is a vote for $387 billion of additional taxes, but as Chris Bowen has told voters, if you don’t like them, don’t vote for them.

Labor can’t manage money and would weaken the economy. Only the Coalition can be trusted to deliver lower taxes, more jobs and a stronger economy which underpins record spending on essential services.