How Anthony Albanese told Aussies he had no intention to change the tax cuts at the same time plans were being drawn to dump them

Senior government officials have been working on plans to scrap the Phase Three tax cuts, even as Anthony Albanese told Aussies he had ‘no plans’ to change them.

The First Minister and Treasurer Jim Chalmers has repeatedly said there will be no changes to the tax cuts originally legislated by the previous coalition government – to the point of announcing drastic changes in January.

But on Monday, Canberra bureaucrats confirmed at a Senate Inquiry that they were working on plans to dump the Coalition’s version for an updated Labor version before Christmas.

More than 11.5 million taxpayers are expected to be better off under Labour’s changes, but an estimated 1.1 million people earning more than $150,000 will receive only half the tax cut they would have got under the Coalition was still in power.

Liberal Senator Jane Hume asked Treasury and Finance officials: ‘How many Australians are going to pay more tax as a result of this decision?’

Senior civil servants were working on the government's 'broken promise' Phase Three tax cuts in December, even as Anthony Albanese (pictured with partner Jodie Haydone) said he had 'no plans' to make any changes.

Senior civil servants were working on the government’s ‘broken promise’ Phase Three tax cuts in December, even as Anthony Albanese (pictured with partner Jodie Haydone) said he had ‘no plans’ to make any changes.

The officials said they would have to take note of the question, meaning they would answer it later, most likely in a written response.

Ms Hume was not happy and demanded to be told: ‘How can you not know how many more people are going to pay more tax over the medium term in which the government is going to raise an additional $28 billion?’

She put it to the civil servants that ‘when the Prime Minister said on the 21st of December, “we are not reconsidering our position”, you actually reconsidered.’

But they said they were not ‘complicit in a lie’ in doing so.

Anna Harmer of the Department of Finance said it was only clear in January that the government was about to make changes to the phase three tax cuts.

Despite breaking repeated promises to press ahead with the Coalition version of the tax changes, Mr Albanese insisted on Sunday that he was not being deceptive.

‘I am an honest person. I’m upfront,” he told the ABC’s Insiders program.

“What I’ve done here is to be very, very clear. And I’ve been listening to people all say to me, “Well, what are you doing about cost of living? What are the measures you can put in place?”‘

About 85 percent of taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $130,000 will get $804 more than previously promised.

Those with the most to lose if Labor’s changes get through the Senate with cross-bench support are people earning more than $190,000, who will see their tax savings cut in half from $9,075 to $4,529.

Labour’s revisions will mean incomes between $18,200 and $45,000 will be taxed at a lower rate of 16 per cent.

The 30 percent bracket will be expanded to cover incomes between $45,000 and $135,000, and the 37 percent bracket will remain for incomes between $135,000 and $190,000. Above that, a rate of 45 percent will apply.

The latest News Poll conducted by The Australian found that 62 percent of voters believe Mr. Albanese did the right thing by reworking legislative tax cuts.

But the prime minister’s personal approval ratings did not improve after the decision.

Labor’s primary vote by one point, but the two-party preference contest between Labor and the Coalition is unchanged from the previous poll six weeks ago at 52-48 in Labour’s favour.

The head-to-head battle between Mr Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton remains at 56-35 in Mr Albanese’s favour.

More than 11.5 million taxpayers are expected to be better off under Labour's changes.  A female tradie is in the picture

More than 11.5 million taxpayers are expected to be better off under Labour’s changes. A female tradie is in the picture

Parliament will resume on Tuesday, with the government planning to introduce legislation to replace the Phase Three tax cuts with its new model.

It will have no problem passing in the House of Commons, where Labor has a majority, but the government will need cross-bench support to get it passed in the Senate if the coalition either does not support it or abstains.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will also meet on Tuesday, with interest rates likely to be kept on hold.

About 18 percent of voters surveyed in the Newspoll believed they would be worse off because of Mr. Albanian’s broken election promise.

The poll also revealed that female voters (65 percent) were significantly more likely to support the tax cuts while the 50-64 age group supported the change the most.

The 18-34 age group was least in favor of the amended tax cuts.

Nicholas Barry, political lecturer from La Trobe University, said that Mr. Albanese’s broken promise is unlikely to lead to an early election.

About 85 percent of taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $130,000 will get $804 more than previously promised.  A female carpenter using a power tool is pictured

About 85 percent of taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $130,000 will get $804 more than previously promised. A female carpenter using a power tool is pictured

Liberal Senator Jane Hume (pictured) asked Treasury and Finance officials 'How many Australians are going to pay more tax as a result of this decision?'

Liberal Senator Jane Hume (pictured) asked Treasury and Finance officials ‘How many Australians are going to pay more tax as a result of this decision?’

“While Peter Dutton may be putting pressure on the government to call an election on the recent tax cuts, as things stand, I don’t see us going to the polls in 2024,” Dr Barry told USA Online Post Australia.

‘Having been out of office for nine years, it is unlikely that Labor will want to take the risk of such an early election.

‘Governments will generally only do this if they are very sure of an overwhelming victory.’

He added that ‘reducing the tax cut received by top income earners makes sense as a policy, as it finances a larger tax cut for low and middle income earners who need it more.