Scott Morrison’s talking points on tax cuts for rich, JobSeeker leaked

What Scott Morrison doesn’t want you to know: PM accidentally reveals his talking points on tax cuts for the rich, JobSeeker, women in the workforce and wage subsidies

  • Prime Minister’s media advisers accidentally leaked their talking points for MPs
  • They covered tax cuts for the rich, JobSeeker, working women and JobKeeper 
  • Wealthy Australians are getting some very generous tax cuts from July 1, 2024
  • Those earning $180,000 will get $8,640 as those on $200,000 get $11,640 

Scott Morrison‘s advisers have accidentally revealed how they plan to convince Australians those earning $200,000 deserve an $11,640 tax cut.

The Prime Minister’s plan to cut the number of tax brackets from five to four for the first time in four decades is due to come into effect in July 2024, even though government debt levels are set to climb above $1trillion for the first time ever within two years.

Australians on six-figure salaries stand to be the biggest beneficiaries, especially if they earn more than $120,000 a year.

Scott Morrison's advisers have accidentally revealed how they plan to convince Australians those on a $200,000 salary deserve an $11,640 tax cut. The Prime Minister is pictured in Townsville on Wednesday

Scott Morrison’s advisers have accidentally revealed how they plan to convince Australians those on a $200,000 salary deserve an $11,640 tax cut. The Prime Minister is pictured in Townsville on Wednesday

Talking points, telling Liberal and National party MPs what to say if quizzed by the media, were accidentally emailed to journalists on Thursday morning.

The ‘key issues today’ notes included how to answer questions on JobSeeker unemployment benefits, women in the workforce and JobKeeper wage subsidies.

ScoMo’s talking points

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s media advisers accidentally leaked their talking points for Coalition MPs

Liberal and Nationals members of Parliament are instructed to attack the Labor Party if asked about the Stage Three tax cuts – that are generous to the rich

‘This is just a reheat of Bill Shorten’s higher-taxing agenda’

If asked about how those earning between $45,001 and $200,000 would be in the same tax bracket, the MPs were told to say: 

‘These tax cuts are designed to ensure 94 per cent of Australians won’t pay more than 30 cents in the dollar in tax’

Should they be questioned on Budget measures for women in the workforce,  the MPs would to say: 

Every measure in the Budget is a measure not just for Australian women, but for all Australians’ 

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Tax cuts for the wealthy 

The notes, prepared by Mr Morrison’s senior media advisers, instructed Coalition members of Parliament to attack the Labor Party if asked about the Stage Three cuts, which Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese opposes, just like his predecessor.

‘This is just a reheat of Bill Shorten’s higher-taxing agenda from the last election,’ it said.

Under the Stage Three tax cuts, which Labor voted against in 2019, the 37 per cent tax bracket will be abolished from July 1, 2024.

The slashing of tax brackets from five to four for the first time since 1984 will see a new 30 per cent tax bracket created for all individuals earning between $45,001 and $200,000.

Mr Morrison’s advisers have told Coalition MPs to use the line: ‘These tax cuts are designed to ensure that 94 per cent of Australians won’t pay more than 30 cents in the dollar in tax.’

The tax cuts package will see those earning more than $200,000 a year receive the most generous tax relief of $11,640 from July 1, 2024 compared with 2017-18.

Australians earning more than the average, full-time salary of $89,123 will be the biggest winners.

Those on salaries above $90,000 will get back $2,340.

This climbs to $3,040 for those earning more than $100,000 and to $4,440 for Australians on more than $120,000. 

The tax relief bulges to $5,840 for those on more than $140,000, $7,240 for high-income earners on more than $160,000 and $8,640 for the lucky hard workers on $180,000.

Mr Morrison declared on Wednesday those earning $180,000 a year were not rich, even though just 3.4 per cent of Australians are in this tax bracket, going by Australian Taxation Office data.

The notes, prepared by the Prime Minister's senior media advisers, instructed Coalition members of Parliament to attack the Labor Party if asked about the Stage Three cuts, which Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese opposes, just like his predecessor. Pictured is the ultra-wealthy eastern suburbs of Sydney

The notes, prepared by the Prime Minister’s senior media advisers, instructed Coalition members of Parliament to attack the Labor Party if asked about the Stage Three cuts, which Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese opposes, just like his predecessor. Pictured is the ultra-wealthy eastern suburbs of Sydney

‘I mean, let me make this point. I was in Rockhampton today, and there are many people there and in Sydney, for that matter, or in Melbourne or in Perth or other places who go out and work in the mines,’ he said.

‘And they earn quite well while they’re up there in the mines.’

The vast bulk of Australian workers are on low to middle incomes, with 40 per cent earning between $37,001 and $87,000.

But under the Stage Three tax cuts, they won’t be getting back more than $2,000, compared with 2017-18. 

The 3.4 per cent of Australians earning more than $180,000 a year paid 30.9 per cent of income tax revenue. 

The Labor Party supported the Stage Two tax cuts and Parliament has already approved back tracking to July 2020 tax relief that was last year planned for July 2022.

This will see $17.8billion worth of tax cuts rolled out in two stages up until the 2024-25 financial year. 

Mr Morrison's office told government MPs asked about JobSeeker to highlight how 90 cent of unemployment benefit recipients had received rent or power bill assistance or a family tax benefit. Pictured is a Melbourne Centrelink queue

Mr Morrison’s office told government MPs asked about JobSeeker to highlight how 90 cent of unemployment benefit recipients had received rent or power bill assistance or a family tax benefit. Pictured is a Melbourne Centrelink queue

JobSeeker 

The Opposition backed the government in March when it announced the JobSeeker unemployment benefit been temporarily doubled with a $550 a fortnight coronavirus supplement.

That was pared down to $200 on September 25 and from January 1, the dole will return to the base rate of $565.70, working out at just $40.40 a day.

Mr Morrison’s office told government MPs asked about JobSeeker to highlight how 90 cent of unemployment benefit recipients had received rent or power bill assistance or a family tax benefit.

‘No one is saying it’s easy to get by without a job which is why the Morrison Government is absolutely focused on helping unemployed Australians be work ready and creating jobs so working age Australians have the opportunity to gain financial independence,’ the talking point said.

The Prime Minister's office anticipated reporters suggesting 'the Budget doesn't do enough for women' and had a comeback line pointing out 57 per cent of women who lost their job during the COVID-19 crisis had returned to work

The Prime Minister’s office anticipated reporters suggesting ‘the Budget doesn’t do enough for women’ and had a comeback line pointing out 57 per cent of women who lost their job during the COVID-19 crisis had returned to work

Working women 

The Prime Minister’s office anticipated reporters suggesting ‘the Budget doesn’t do enough for women’ and had a comeback line pointing out 57 per cent of women who lost their job during the COVID-19 crisis had returned to work.

‘Every measure in the Budget is a measure not just for Australian women, but for all Australians,’ the talking point said.

JobKeeper wage subsidies  

Since September 28, the government has scaled back the $1,500 a fortnight JobKeeper wage subsidies to $1,200 for those working 20 hours or more a week.

With JobKeeper being phased out in March, MPs are being advised to focus on the support for older workers, including a $10,000 subsidy scheme for employers who hire someone aged 50 or older for 12 months.

The talking points didn’t feature notes on the controversial JobMaker Hiring Credit giving employers $10,400 or $200 a week for a year if they hire someone aged 16 to 29.

Nor did it mention the plan to give $100 week or $5,200 for those aged 30 to 35. 

Since September 28, the government has scaled back the $1,500 a fortnight JobKeeper wage subsidies to $1,200 for those working 20 hours or more a week. With JobKeeper being phased out in March, MPs are being advised to focus on the support for older workers, including a $10,000 subsidy scheme for employers who hire someone aged 50 or older for 12 months

Since September 28, the government has scaled back the $1,500 a fortnight JobKeeper wage subsidies to $1,200 for those working 20 hours or more a week. With JobKeeper being phased out in March, MPs are being advised to focus on the support for older workers, including a $10,000 subsidy scheme for employers who hire someone aged 50 or older for 12 months

Budget debt and deficit

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s second Budget, on October 6, unveiled a deficit of $213.7billion for 2020-21, making up 11 per cent of gross domestic product – the highest proportion of the economy since World War II.

This is more than double Labor’s 4.2 per cent in 2009-10, at the height of the Global Financial Crisis, when first-term treasurer Wayne Swan announced a $54.8billion deficit. 

Despite the Coalition delivering much a bigger Budget to handle the much more severe coronavirus recession, the talking points urged Coalition MPs to say Labor couldn’t manage money.

‘Labor wrote the rulebook for what NOT to do – we are not repeating their mistakes,’ it said.

‘Our political opponents always see government has the solution. 

‘They will always seek to spend more, they will always seek to tax more.’

Despite the Coalition delivering much a bigger Budget to handle the much more severe coronavirus recession, the talking points urged Coalition MPs to say Labor couldn't manage money

Despite the Coalition delivering much a bigger Budget to handle the much more severe coronavirus recession, the talking points urged Coalition MPs to say Labor couldn’t manage money

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