Colour head shot of Katy Gallagher, current Minister for Finance.

Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher

Minister for Finance

TV interview - Sunrise

Minister for Finance
Minister for Women
Minister for the Public Service
Senator for the ACT

Bigger tax cuts for middle Australia; Australia Day

MATT SHIRVINGTON: Peter Dutton is accusing Anthony Albanese of using the tax changes to shore up his own leadership rather than help with cost-of-living. And he reckons the PM should now let voters be the judge. Joining me now is Finance Minister Katy Gallagher. Good morning to you, Katy. Thanks for joining us. Well, Peter Dutton, he says the PM’s position is now terminal. Will you go to the polls early so voters can decide if they trust your government or not?

SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER, MINISTER FOR FINANCE: Morning, Shirvo. And just before we get to that, just sending thoughts and support to the people of North Queensland. Particularly around Townsville. And the Australian Government is standing ready to assist in any way we can. On the question you ask – look, Peter Dutton will always play politics before people and our plan is really about getting more money into more people's pockets to deal with this cost-of-living pressure they are under. The PM has been very clear about the fact that our position has changed. But it's all been – it's a change in position for the right reason. Because, as all the audience of your show knows, those cost-of-living pressures are really biting and this plan deals with that.

SHIRVINGTON: Our viewers, when we're talking to them, they're quite divided. I mean, they do want an improvement of cost of living. Absolutely. But the trust issue is a problem for them. If there was an election now, does Anthony Albanese win? And does he win in a way that will reassure the trust? Bring it back for our viewers?

GALLAGHER: I think we're not pretending that this – and we don't go into this decision lightly. We understand there's consequences around it. But we're motivated by doing the right thing for people about dealing with those cost-of-living pressures. And I think Australians reward leaders and politicians that stand up and make the tough decisions, the right decisions. Don't take the easy, more politically expedient positions. Obviously, we've thought about this deeply, but at the end of the day, I mean, we had a choice of doing nothing and not reaching people who were really doing it tough or changing our position and making sure that people are getting more money. 2.9 million Australians who weren't going to get anything, actually getting a tax cut.

SHIRVINGTON: There are some economists saying that they've been underwhelmed by the tax changes, saying they do little to address bracket creep or increasing wages over time and create any meaningful reform to our tax system. What do you reckon?

GALLAGHER: Well, I think one thing I've learned in this portfolio is economists have a range of views. There'll be those that say it's too much, and there'll be those that say it's too little. We've, again, thought about this carefully. Our plan actually deals with bracket creep. It particularly does it right throughout the income scale. So, we have a very broad view of aspiration. We want people to work more and earn more and this plan does that but importantly, Shirvo, from 1 July, it gives people more money in their pockets. You know, 11.5 million Australians will get a bigger tax cut. And that's what's been motivating us. It's about cost-of-living and people before politics.

SHIRVINGTON: Katy, how will you mark Australia Day?

GALLAGHER: I've got loads of stuff to do. I went to the Australian of the Year, yesterday. We've got the flag raising ceremony. You know it's a great day, really, to get out and about. It’s a beautiful day here in Canberra.

SHIRVINGTON: Okay. Thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.