Originally published in The Ararat Advocate and Pyrenees Advocate on 23 February 2024.

The cost of living is the Albanese Government’s number one priority and the core of Labor’s approach is about putting more money back in the pockets of Australian workers.

From July 1, Federal Labor will deliver a tax cut for every Australian taxpayer – a plan that is designed to help low and middle-income households with the cost of living, while making our tax system fairer.

The tax cuts will make a real difference for 13.6 million Australians and 86 per cent of taxpayers in Wannon will be better off, ensuring workers are keeping more of the wages they earn.

It is worth noting that unlike the Coalition’s tax plan under Scott Morrison, which was designed five years ago before the pandemic and interest rate rises, Labor’s strategy responds to the economic conditions of 2024.

In fact, workers in Wannon will receive an average tax cut of $1,370 – and 57,000 people in the region will get a larger tax cut under Labor’s plan.

Across Australia, a worker on an average income of around $73,000 will get a tax cut of $1,504 – that is $804 more than they were going to receive under Morrison’s 2019 plan.

The Albanese Government recognises the economic realities of 2024; people are under financial pressure right now.

This week saw very welcome figures on real wages growth – wages grew 0.9 per cent in the December quarter 2023 and 4.2 per cent over the year – and inflation is moderating.

This is encouraging news, but we understand workers are still facing cost-of-living pressures – which is why our tax cuts will deliver more relief to more workers in a way that is fiscally responsible and does not add to inflation.

Cutting taxes for workers is a central part of Federal Labor’s economic plan, along with getting wages moving again, bringing inflation under control and driving fairer prices for Australian consumers at the checkout.

Labor’s tax cuts come on top of the tens of billions of dollars in targeted and responsible cost-of-living relief that is being rolled out, including energy bill relief, strengthening Medicare, cheaper medicines, cheaper childcare, cheaper TAFE, higher income support payments and the biggest boost to rent assistance in 30 years.

In addition, the Government will increase the Medicare levy low-income threshold. This will benefit more than a million Australians, guaranteeing people on lower incomes continue to pay a reduced levy rate or are exempt from the Medicare levy.

Labor is always on the side of workers and our policies are helping to ensure that inflation is moderating, wages are growing and, importantly, our cost-of-living tax cuts from July 1 will benefit more Australians.