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Treasurer Scott Morrison says he is open to any tax changes, including to superannuation concessions, that would make for a more efficient tax system.
In contrast to the Abbott government’s blanket refusal to wind back super tax breaks, Mr Morrison used a series of radio interviews yesterday to say he was “interested in anything that will help Australians work, save and invest”.
The Treasurer’s comments come ahead of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull meeting business, community and union leaders to discuss policies to grow the economy.
“To secure and enhance our prosperity we must be more productive, competitive and innovative,” Mr Turnbull said.
Mr Morrison reiterated the need to address bracket creep before the average wage reached $80,000 a year, pushing thousands of earners into the second-highest tax bracket.
“I am not going to get into the details at this point because we are still working through a package but what I am saying to Australians I think very clearly is, I want the tax system to work for them, not them to work for the tax system,” he said.
Mr Morrison also signalled he would rein in government spending by limiting its growth, such as further tightening eligibility for welfare.
“It is not about cuts, it is about control,” he said.
Mr Morrison accused Labor of wanting to change the tax system simply “to chase its higher spending”.
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen welcomed Mr Morrison’s willingness to reconsider generous super tax breaks, saying they were the fastest- growing concessions and were unfair and unsustainable.
“We’ll see whether Mr Morrison is just all words or whether he is actually prepared to accept good policy,” Mr Bowen said.
In an interview with Sydney broadcaster Ray Hadley, Mr Morrison said he had not spoken to former PM Tony Abbott since the leadership coup a fortnight ago.
After the spill, Mr Abbott accused Mr Morrison of badly misleading the public by claiming he had alerted him a few days earlier that a challenge was imminent.
Mr Morrison said he would give Mr Abbott space before speaking to him.
“These things are very emotional events and I’m sure once the dust settles and time moves, we’ll be able to have that opportunity,” he said.