11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007
Interview with Mark Riley
Tuesday, 10 May 2005
Mr Costello this is a powerful lot of money you are spending here.
Well, we are cutting taxes and at a time when you have got more people in work than ever before, more people in work paying lower taxes, can raise the same amount of money as fewer people in work paying higher taxes. So, if you have got low unemployment, you get the chance to cut tax.
And keeping interest rates low?
And keeping interest rates low, that is very much part of the strategy.
Labor says this is for the top end of town, that eight out of ten people only get $6 a week.
Well, this is a cut in tax for everybody. We cut the lowest rate and we moved the upper thresholds. The upper thresholds, you are still paying the same rate, you do not get the rate cut but your threshold moves out so it cuts tax for everybody. The important thing I think is that it makes the Australian taxation system more competitive. I think in the past we have had our top rate cut in at too low an amount. This time we are moving more in line with international practice.
It is a lot of tax cuts and if people don’t like you now Treasurer, when are they going to like you?
Well it is important to keep taxes as low as possible. If you have balanced your Budget, you have reduced debt, keep taxes as low as you can.
Treasurer thanks very much.