Tuesday, June 9, 2015
What's behind the scene
Labor has agreed with the government on another tax increase - removing a tax break for people whose spouses don’t work - following secret negotiations over measures stalled in the Senate since last year’s federal budget. Sources said the opposition will back the abolition of the Dependent Spouse Tax Offset, which will save the budget about $300 million over four years and about $600 million over a decade. The policy enables taxpayers to claim an offset of up to $2400 if their spouse has an adjustable income of less than $10,422. The Abbott government tried to scrap the offset in the 2014 budget but it was one of the measures the Senate refused to pass. Its abolition is now included in a miscellaneous tax bill recently introduced to Parliament and will pass before July 1 with Labor’s support. AFR Weekend revealed on Saturday that Labor had also agreed to stop a legislated increase to the the tax-free threshold from $18,200 to $19,400 due to start on July 1. That will save almost $3 billion over four years and $7.7 billion over a decade.