Australian Prime Minister Won't Rule Out New Levy
By ROD McGUIRK
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) a¿¿ Weeks before he was elected as Australia's prime minister, Tony Abbott promised no new taxes. But with his first annual budget looming, Abbott on Tuesday wouldn't rule out a so-called deficit reduction levy to be paid by higher income earners.
Abbott has warned that his conservative government faces tough decisions to rein in mounting debt in its budget blueprint for the fiscal year starting July 1. The blueprint will be revealed to Parliament on May 13.
Abbott, who came to power with a decisive election victory last September after six years in opposition, said that introducing a temporary levy in the budget might not break his election promise to introduce no new taxes."There's been speculation, as you know, about a deficit reduction levy," Abbott told Melbourne Radio 3AW. "I think if there was a permanent increase in taxation, that would certainly be inconsistent with the sort of things that were said before the election," he added, referring to his election promises. But Abbott would say if the levy would be in or not for next year's budget, in keeping with previous government policies of keeping budget details secret until they are released to Parliament. In practice, budget measures are usually published in unsourced media reports every year as part of government strategies to control the message and manage public expectations. Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Tuesday that Australians earning more than 80,000 Australian dollars ($74,000) would pay a levy to help retire national debt over the next four years from July 1. The levy would be charged at 1 percent for incomes of AU$80,000 to AU$180,000, and 2 percent for higher incomes. Opposition leader Bill Shorten said such a levy would amount to a broken promise not to increase taxes. "A tax increase is a tax increase," Shorten said.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV