Treasurer Scott Morrison has labelled Bill Shorten’s budget reply as political “bulldust”, slamming his plan to create a top tax rate of 49.5 per cent.
Days after delivering his own budget, Mr Morrison said the Labor leader’s response on Thursday night didn’t have any solutions for the nation.
“There was just more ideological fringe-dwelling, shouting at the clouds, playing to a union-dominated base and that’s no way to run a country,” he told a post-budget breakfast in Melbourne, where protesters clashed with police outside the venue.
“What we saw last night from the Labor Party was straight out political bulldust when it comes to what is needed in this country.”
Mr Shorten committed the opposition to only supporting a 0.5 per cent hike in the Medicare levy to fund the national disability insurance scheme, for those earning more than $87,000.
In government it would retain the coalition’s budget deficit levy, due to expire on June 30, effectively creating a top tax rate nudging 50 per cent.
“That is economic vandalism,” Mr Morrison said.
Such a high top marginal tax rate, combined with Labor’s opposition to cut company tax rates from 30 per cent, was resigning the country to economic ruin, he said.
But Mr Shorten insisted his party was looking after middle-income households that would cop a Medicare levy increase under the Coalition.
“We are actually taking a stand for the eight million people who earn less than $87,000 a year,” he told ABC radio.
“Where you’ve got a situation where there is pressure on the economy and pressure on the budget I think it’s only fair those with the greatest capacity pay a little more.”