National

Budget focus on tax settings: Cormann

By AAP Newswire

Company tax cuts could again be on the agenda when the federal government hands down its delayed budget on October 6.

But Labor is showing little enthusiasm should this prove to be true, saying there are bigger priorities for the Morrison government, such as providing a plan for jobs.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says he will continue to focus on making it easier for businesses "to survive, to be viable, to be profitable" in what will be his final budget input before he retires from politics at the end of the year.

"That will include a focus on the appropriate tax policy settings," Senator Cormann told ABC TV's Insiders program.

He said tax settings must give businesses the confidence to invest in future growth and to hire more Australians.

But shadow assistant treasurer Stephen Jones is unimpressed by such an approach.

"We think there are bigger priorities and better ways to stimulate the economy," Mr Jones told reporters in Canberra.

"We don't think that we are going to see a tax cut-led recovery."

Labor has more interest in the government producing a plan for jobs and how to get the country out of its first recession in nearly 30 years.

Small and medium-sized businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million are already enjoying lower tax rates, which are legislated to settle at 25 per cent after gradual cuts from 30 per cent.

However, big business is still stuck at the 30 per cent rate after the government failed to convince opposition parties and independents to back a reduction in the rate to 25 per cent for all firms.

The 2020/21 budget was delayed from its traditional May release because of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Australia.