With Treasurer Frydenberg set to hand down the 2019-20 Federal Budget on 2 April, and a May 2019 federal election expected to be called shortly afterwards, a comparison of the fiscal policies of the Coalition and the Australian Labor Party (“ALP”) yields some similarities, but some notable differences.
This report considers the major parties’ approach to tax policy matters side-by-side, including policy announcements, bills currently before parliament and current Treasury consultations that are based on a stated Government policy intention.
The Government’s December 2018 mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (“MYEFO”) included a line item for “Decisions taken but not yet announced” which were expected to reduce government revenues by $9 billion over the four years to 30 June 2022. The nature of these measures remains unknown at the time of writing, and therefore the prospect of these measures should be added to the Government’s currently announced policies.
If, as expected, an election were to be called for May 2019, then only two scheduled Senate sitting days (2 and 3 April 2019) would remain before parliament rose for the election. It is reasonable to expect that only those tax-related bills which were of the highest priority for the Government would be capable of being passed during that short window.