Australia drops plans to fast track tax cuts for wealthy: Report

Australia had pledged A$17.8 billion in personal tax cuts in last year's budget. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - The Australian government has dropped plans to fast track tax cuts for the wealthy, The Australian newspaper reported on Wednesday (May 5), as the country's economy recovers more quickly than anticipated from a pandemic-led downturn.

The government has ruled out including tax cuts for high income earners in next week's federal budget, the newspaper said, citing unidentified sources.

It will instead extend tax cuts for low and middle-income earners for another year, the report said, with tax relief for the wealthy due for introduction in 2024.

A Treasury spokesman declined to comment. The government is scheduled to unveil its annual budget on May 11.

Australia pledged A$17.8 billion (S$23.7 billion) in personal tax cuts in last year's budget as part of a coronavirus recovery plan to create one million new jobs over the next four years.

However, the A$2 trillion domestic economy, which last year slid into recession due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, is now on a faster recovery path as low cases numbers in recent months have led to reduced restrictions.

Unemployment dropped to a one-year low in March and the number of people in work surpassed a pre-pandemic peak, official data showed.

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