Australian treasurer attacks opposition leader's tax question error

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

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The Australian opposition leader's economic credentials have been attacked by his political opponents after being uncertain about the exact threshold of Australia's highest tax bracket.
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The ability of Australian opposition leader, Kevin Rudd to run the country's economy has been questioned by the Government after he made an error responding to a question on Australia's current tax system today. Speaking in Queanbeyan, New South Wales earlier today, Mr Rudd was asked if he could name the current tax rates and the thresholds at which they kick in.

Mr Rudd said that he thought the top tax rate started at AUD$175,000. In fact, Australia's top taxation rate begins at $150,000. "Well, as of July 1, if you went through the four thresholds, I think the high threshold kicks in I think at $175,000, then I think it cascades down the spectrum," Mr Rudd told reporters.

Australian treasurer Peter Costello, who introduced the tax threshold changes, has seized on the opposition leader's uncertainty, claiming that "he has never cared about economic policy, he has no interest in it," he said.

Treasurer Costello claimed: "He was exposed as a fraud on productivity and we don't hear him talking about productivity very much anymore.

"Now he has been exposed as being naked when it comes to understanding the tax system."

Mr Costello demanded that the opposition release their taxation policy. "Since the Labor Party demands an election to be called on a daily basis, you would think they might have the decency of releasing a policy so that people can know what it is," said Costello.

A Federal election is expected in Australia in the next three months and the Coalition Government is trailing the Opposition by ten percentage points on a two-party preferred basis.


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