Government to focus on tax cuts for middle-income earners

In a speech at the Business Council of Australia’s annual dinner, the Prime Minister indicated that he is “actively working with the Treasurer and all … Cabinet colleagues to ease the burden on middle-income Australians, while also meeting our commitment to return the budget to surplus.” The prospect of tax cuts for certain individuals was further reiterated in an interview with the Prime Minister who indicated that the Government will focus next year on the process for delivering tax cuts for middle-income Australians.

No further details of the timing or form in which such measures might be delivered has been provided.

Whistleblower protection regime

The Government has released for consultation exposure draft legislation which creates a single whistleblower protection regime in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), to cover the corporate, financial and credit sectors, and creates a new whistleblower protection regime in the taxation law, to protect those who expose tax misconduct. The new whistleblower protections will facilitate disclosures about tax misconduct being made directly to the Australian Taxation Office.

Once the measures are enacted, it is proposed that they will apply to whistleblower disclosures made on or after 1 July 2018, including disclosures about events before this date. The amendments will also apply to conduct that victimises or causes damage to individuals after 1 July 2018 because of a protected disclosure, including where the disclosures have been made prior to this date.