POLITICS

Shorten Asks PM Turnbull To 'Stop Backing The Top End Of Town'

The Opposition Leader said he would 'always choose middle and working class Australians over the top two percent' if he had to.

13/05/2017 3:39 PM AEST | Updated 13/05/2017 3:39 PM AEST
Stefan Postles via Getty Images
Federal Labor has said that they will not support the Medicare Levy.

Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten has continued his criticisms of the Coalition's Budget, which includes tax breaks for wealthy investors and an $8.2 billion Medicare Levy increase for all taxpayers to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Under the Turnbull Government, the Medicare Levy would be increased by 0.5 percentage points in two years' time to close a funding gap of $55.7 billion over ten years for the NDIS.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Shorten said the government should stave off corporate tax cuts and called on Prime Minister Turnbull to "get behind working Australians".

"You can either let millionaires pay less, or you could stand up for 10 million Australians and not make them pay more," he told reporters on Saturday.

"I will always choose middle and working class Australians over the top two percent if I have to.

"Mr Turnbull should stop giving $65 billion away to foreign companies and large companies and instead use that money to help in the budget and other programs rather than asking everyday Australians to pay more tax."

In his budget reply speech on Thursday, Shorten called for the tax to be limited to the top 20 percent of Australian wage earners.

Federal Labor has said it will not support the Medicare Levy for Australians earning less than $87,000 a year, stressing that high-income earners must pay greater contributions.

While the proposed levy increase is set to stall in the Senate, Treasurer Scott Morrison told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday that he stands by the policy "100 percent".

"This is the fair policy for Australians and this is what we are doing," he said.

"I am inviting the Parliament to support disabled Australians.

"I want the Labor party to put the politics aside, I believe parliament will actually show a lot more pragmatism about this -- we've said we'll meet the parliament in the middle and we're going to stand there, in the middle, waiting for the parliament to come and support what is I think a very reasonable and fair position."


ALSO ON HUFFPOST AUSTRALIA

More On This Topic