In his 2013 Budget reply, Opposition leader Tony Abbott has announced a “no surprises, no excuses” approach.
Abbott said the Coalition would cut revenue from carbon emission penalties, but keep current income tax thresholds and current pension and benefit fortnightly rates the same. Despite saying that many of the measures in the budget were “objectionable”, Abbot said a Coalition administration would not oppose, and in government might even implement, some of them.
“Far from cutting to the bone, we reserve the right to implement all of Labor’s cuts, if needed, because it will take time to un-do all the damage this government has done.”
Labor’s increase to compulsory super from nine to 12% will be delayed by two years by an Abbott administration. Finance Minister Penny Wong said those changes would “take an axe” to the superannuation savings of 8.4 million Australians.
Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten said the delay meant that a person aged 30 today, on average full-time earnings, will retire with $20,000 less in superannuation than if the increase went ahead.
Abbott will also cut the twice a year supplementary allowance to people on benefits and the low income superannuation contribution, because both were funded from the mining tax. The $7b Gonski school funding reforms will be scrapped and Abbott said there will be parliamentary days dedicated to repealing some of the past Government’s laws.
“These measures alone will produce nearly $5 billion a year in savings, which is more than enough for tax cuts without a carbon tax,” said Abbott.
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