Penny Wong raises eyebrows as she addresses questions about whether Anthony Albanese will make another major tax change: ‘Tricky’

Penny Wong was called out by the opposition for using ‘difficult language’ while answering the question: will the government now hit the negative gear?

The Foreign Minister took the stand during a fiery Senate Question Time on Tuesday – the first of the year – to refute suggestions her government can no longer be trusted after breaking a key election promise.

Prime Minister Albanese shocked voters when he walked away from his commitment not to change the already legislated Phase Three tax cuts.

But amid questions about the government’s focus on the cost of living crisis, Mr. Albanian dramatically reversed his promised policy by reducing the tax break that high income earners will receive on July 1.

Senate Opposition Leader Simon Birmingham today questioned whether this meant changes to policy on negative gearing – where Aussies get tax breaks for investment properties when their expenses are greater than their income – and franking credits.

Senator Wong hit back: ‘The reality is that those opposite are desperate to find another fight.

The Foreign Secretary took the stand during a heated Senate Question Time - the first of the year - on Tuesday amid suggestions her government can no longer be trusted after breaking a key election promise

The Foreign Secretary took the stand during a heated Senate Question Time – the first of the year – on Tuesday amid suggestions her government can no longer be trusted after breaking a key election promise

‘After a period of huffing and puffing, they are now backing the prime minister Anthony Albaneses tax plan. So they are desperate now to talk about what we are not doing instead of what we are doing.’

When Mr Birmingham probed further, Ms Wong said: “We are not proposing any other changes in the areas the senator mentioned.”

That line is similar to the official line taken by Treasurer Jim Chalmers when asked if the government will make further major economic changes.

It also echoes the one the Prime Minister trod in the 24 hours before he implemented the Phase Three changes.

Her language did not go unnoticed in the chamber, prompting criticism from a number of opposition senators over the ‘difficult language’ Labor has developed a penchant for using.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton pointed out today that the problem with

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton pointed out today that the problem with “a liar in the Lodge” is that it makes it difficult to trust and rely on any other promises he made during his time in office.

“We are reforming the income tax system and we are providing relief to struggling Australians. We are not looking at changes to the other tax system, we are looking at the changes in the income tax system,’ she said.

‘The reason we are doing this is because Labor MPs, Senators and ministers have understood the importance of responding to cost of living pressures.’

As the volume in the chamber rose with senators shouting insults at each other, Ms Wong added: ‘I know you don’t want to talk about it.

‘The opposites supported Anthony Albanese’s tax plan. And now they’re trying to distract from it with another scare campaign.’

The Coalition has repeatedly raised concerns about the future of negative leverage and franking credits since the government walked away from Phase Three.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton pointed out today that the problem with “a liar in the Lodge” is that it makes it difficult to trust and rely on any other promises he made during his time in office.

Dr Chalmers was asked last week about any future potential changes to negative leverage policies.

“The reality is that those opposite are desperate to find another fight,” she shouted as tension in the room rose.

Prime Minister Albanese shocked voters when he walked away from his commitment not to change the already legislated Phase Three tax cuts

Prime Minister Albanese shocked voters when he walked away from his commitment not to change the already legislated Phase Three tax cuts

The Treasurer was adamant that such a policy change was not on the horizon – but repeated the same words Mr Albanese used when he ruled out breaking his promise on the Phase Three tax cuts.

“We are not considering or considering reviving the policy we took after the 2019 election,” he said.

“We have not changed our view.”

That last sentence was Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s go-to line before he announced that he was in fact changing the phase three cuts.

“We have not changed our position,” Mr Albanese told voters, journalists and colleagues.

Negative leverage is when the cost of owning a rental property outweighs the income it generates, creating a taxable loss that can be offset against other income.

For example, if someone rents out an investment property for $20,000 a year, but they pay $30,000 in interest on their mortgage, they can essentially deduct $10,000 from their paycheck and only pay taxes on what’s left over.

Negative leverage favors investors looking to expand their property portfolio rather than first-time buyers.