Company tax cuts are “dead, buried and cremated”, but Bill Shorten says Malcolm Turnbull is too silly to realise it.
The cuts are in limbo after Pauline Hanson withdrew her support last week, but she is now encouraging voters to ring her office if they want her to support them.
Monday’s Newspoll shows 60 per cent of One Nation voters support the coalition’s plan, while 63 per cent of voters overall back corporate tax cuts.
“I will listen to what the people are saying,” Senator Hanson told the Seven Network on Monday.
“People can ring my office and they can actually put their message across to me.”
But Mr Shorten says the company tax plan is dead despite the latest poll.
“Mr Turnbull’s corporate tax cuts are dead, buried and cremated, he’s just too silly to realise that,” the Labor leader told reporters in Tasmania on Monday.
I don’t need a poll to tell me a dumb idea when I see one.”
Senator Hanson said she wants to consider whether the cuts should be brought in sooner, instead of being phased in over the decade.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who has been leading negotiations, used the poll results to urge crossbenchers to back the legislation.
“It’s encouraging to see that more Australians understand that we can’t continue to put businesses around Australia at a competitive disadvantage,” he told ABC radio.
Senator Cormann rejected calls to cap the tax cut to businesses with an annual turnover of $500 million.
“We don’t want to put an artificial barrier on the growth and expansion of businesses that are just below that threshold,” he said.
Crossbench senator Derryn Hinch, who is pushing for the $500 million cap to exclude the big banks, argues it could help create 600,000 extra jobs.
“Come with me on that and they can bring it in in June,” he told Senator Hanson.
But she said she would not support that.
Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott urged all parties to come back to the table.
“People get that business is the job creator,” she told Sky News.