Australia Says Budget Focus on Tax Cuts for Companies, Workers

(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s government will focus on its plans to cut company tax rates and provide relief for low-and-middle income earners as it outlines its annual budget next week, according to ministers.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal-National coalition government, facing a national election due next year, is expected to set out cuts to income taxes and funding for public-transport infrastructure in major cities in Tuesday’s budget.

The government remains “committed to pass our business tax cuts in full,” Finance Minister Mathias Cormann was quoted Saturday as telling the Herald Sun newspaper in an interview. Turnbull wants to cut company tax rates to 25 percent from 30 percent over a decade in a bid to increase jobs and wages.

“The future job opportunities, job security and wage increases for families around Australia wanting to get ahead depend on the future success and profitability of the businesses that pay them and pay their wages,” Cormann was quoted as saying.

Australia Says Budget Focus on Tax Cuts for Companies, Workers

Australia’s government will offer tax relief measures in the budget to workers earning less than A$87,000 ($66,000) a year, the Australian newspaper cited Treasury Chief Scott Morrison as saying in an interview also published Saturday.

The government’s “first priority is to maximize and target tax relief to low and middle-income earners,” Morrison said. The income tax cuts won’t be at “the expense of slugging others on the false pretext that they don’t pay enough tax,” he said.

Australia needs to do more to combat tax evasion and will continue to closely monitor welfare spending, Morrison was quoted as telling Fairfax Media in a separate interview.

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