Australian government accelerates tax cuts to sweeten souring polls
SYDNEY, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Scott
Morrison said on Thursday his government will bring forward
proposed tax cuts for small businesses by five years, as his
coalition seeks to regain voter support ahead of an election
Australian lawmakers earlier this year passed legislation
that would cut taxes for businesses with a turnover of less than
A$50 million ($35.33 million) to 25 percent, down from 27.5
percent, from 2026.
But after dumping a widely unpopular plan to cut all
corporate taxes by 2.5 percent, Morrison said his government
will now accelerate its plan.
"This change will help to ensure Australian businesses are
competitive, to protect our economy and jobs," Morrison said in
an emailed statement.
The change will require approval from Australia's
parliament, where Morrison's government lacks a majority.
Several independent lawmakers have said they will back the move.
Accelerating tax cuts is widely seen as an attempt to boost
the government's appeal ahead of the next election.
Morrison must call an election by May 2019, though political
polls indicate the government is on course for a heavy election
Morrison also faces a critical by-election this month to
replace former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who resigned
from parliament after losing the leadership in a party-room
ballot in August.
Should the government lose the affluent electorate of
Wentworth, a traditionally safe Liberal seat that stretches from
Bondi Beach to Sydney Harbour, Morrison would then have to
strike a new agreement with the independents to continue in a
($1 = 1.4154 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Michael Perry)
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