Australian crossbench senators have said they would support the federal government’s AU$176 billion tax plan in exchange for a tax on digital companies such as Google, Facebook, and Uber. The Coalition needs two more votes to get its plan to cut income tax for low- and middle-income workers, and lower corporate taxes, passed by Parliament. Centre Alliance senators Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick are “100 percent behind a digital economy tax proposal”. “If the digital economy tax makes the government coffers swell more than they do now, that is very much a positive step,” Senator Griff told Fairfax media. “As long as there are no cuts to core community services, we’d be receptive to a degree of tax relief for everybody. A lot could happen in six weeks; maybe the company and income taxes can be done by July.” The government is trying to get a AU$140 billion income tax cut plan, as well as a AU$35.6 billion bid to lower the corporate tax rate for big businesses, through Parliament. The package, a key plank of the federal Budget, is due for debate in House of Representatives on Tuesday. Labor has thrown in support the first part of the seven-year tax cut plan, and the party also supports taxing the digital economy, but shadow assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh told Sky News it needs to be a permanent solution, not a stop-gap measure. “The policy needs to be evaluated on its merits,” he said. The government said it is focused on… [Read full story]
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