‘Trust me’: Anthony Albanese’s plea to Aussies after backflip on stage 3 tax cuts

Anthony Albanese says Australians can still trust him after his shake up to the stage 3 tax cuts as the Opposition ramps up its attack on the Prime Minister’s credibility.

The Prime Minister defended the change – which redistributes planned tax cuts to higher income earners to fund bigger cuts to those earning under $150,000 – as a necessary response to cost of living pressures, even though he had previously vowed not to change the planned cuts.

“We know that particularly low and middle income earners are under real financial pressure. And so when you have that evidence before you, you have to listen to people,” he told Queensland radio 4RO.

“Australians can trust me to be prepared to make difficult decisions, not the easy decisions.”

Camera IconMr Albanese said Australians can trust him. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

As recently as two weeks ago, Mr Albanese said he was “committed” to the stage 3 tax cuts as legislated by the then-Morrison government in 2019.

The Prime Minister justified his backflip due to the changes in “economic circumstances”, arguing the decision was only made at cabinet last Tuesday.

But the Opposition is sceptical and have claimed the broken promise was made due concerns about Labor’s chances in the upcoming Dunkley by-election in Melbourne – which it holds by 6.3 per cent.

Education Minister Jason Clare, who was on the ground with Labor’s candidate Jodie Belyea in Dunkley on Tuesday, said 87 per cent of taxpayers in the seat would benefit from the tax cut.

In a speech on Tuesday morning, Peter Dutton sought to tie the tax cuts directly to Mr Albanese’s credibility.

He argued that the government’s stage 3 rewrite would “asphyxiate aspiration, crush confidence and obliterate opportunity” and questioned whether Labor would revisit other ideas shelved after the 2019 campaign.

“I think Australians will also be asking, what’s the next broken promise?” Mr Dutton said.

Camera IconMr Dutton has sought to tie the changes to Mr Albanese’s credibility. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

Treasurer Jim Chalmers shot down speculation of any further changes when asked on Monday.

Shadow cabinet will meet in Perth to discuss how the Coalition will respond to the proposal – which it has not yet ruled out voting for.

Nationals senator Matt Canavan said he anticipated the Opposition would put up amendments in the Senate.

If the amendments fail, the Coalition would then need to decide whether to wave the legislation through or vote against it.

Under the reworked stage 3, the lowest tax bracket would be reduced from 19 per cent to 16 per cent for earnings under $45,000 and the 37 per cent tax rate for those earning between $135,000 and $190,000 would be retained.

The 45 per cent tax bracket will now kick in for those earning over $190,000, down from the planned $200,000.

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