16 July 2024
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Has the fallout of the broken tax cut promise hurt the relationship of the PM and his Treasurer?

Peter Switzer
2 February 2024

The hot story doing the political rounds is that Prime Minister Albanese is “shitty” about being blamed for the broken promise on the stage three tax cuts. Sky News commentator Shari Markson reports that Labor sources say the PM thinks the Treasurer should be taking the heat for breaking the undertaking to voters before the last election.
Finance Minister Katy Gallagher has told Nine’s Karl Stefanovic that both men are not playing ‘no speaks’ and the story is wrong, but she would say this, wouldn’t she? And it makes sense that the top two politicians in our federal government would be talking but it also could be true that Albo is worried about the political fallout from his broken promise.
If Albo is annoyed at Chalmers, it could only be because the Treasurer had twisted his arm to do these tax broken promises for bottom line economic reasons. Ultimately, political decisions of this magnitude have to be sheeted back to the leader after taking advice from his economic advisers.
As Markson pointed out, the PM owned the tax cut changes publicly, even doing a National Press Club luncheon address to explain why the changes were necessary.
Ironically, even though the PM is copping accusations of being untrustworthy by some quarters in the media, and undoubtedly from those Australians who’ll lose significant tax cuts, the bottom line is that more than 11 million taxpayers or voters will be getting more.
A lot of people might have been anti-Albo for his Voice disaster referendum and the rising inflation levels that have driven up interest rates, but bigger tax cuts have had a history of helping Aussies forgive PMs who’ve made mistakes.
The big problem the PM has to deal with is the list of questions he and his Ministers will face between now and the next election.
Over the weekend, there were reports that some Labor MPs were pressuring the PM to think about changes to negative gearing. Of course, Bill Shorten’s run for the top job in 2019 was KO’d because negative gearing was on his chopping board, making Scott Morrison the surprise winner.
Finance Minister Gallagher denies any interest in changing negative gearing or any potential change to the taxing of assets, which has to include super, but the Coalition will use the media to keep asking whether we can trust Albo.
Many of the 11 million plus taxpayers who benefit from the tax cuts will be forgive Albo by election time, which will also come after about three interest rate cuts.
However, if this ‘Albo hates Dr Jim’ stuff becomes believable, the once unthinkable could eventuate: PM Peter Dutton
If the PM can’t kill these rumours, not only could he lose the next election, he also might help Jim Chalmers become Prime Minister earlier than both would’ve thought.

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