Deficit Tax on Aussies to be Temporary Only; Critics Doubt, Citing Abbott’s Zero Credibility

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By Vittorio Hernandez | May 8, 2014 8:27 AM EST

The much-despised deficit tax to be imposed on Australians is almost a done deal, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said on Wednesday after emerging for a federal cabinet meeting.

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However, he assured that it is a temporary revenue-raising measure to erase the projected $30 billion deficit in the national budget which will be unveiled next week. But Australians doubt that it would only be an interim measure since many no longer trust Prime Minister Tony Abbott whom they say is now suffering from zero credibility.

Aussies are mad at Mr Abbott for reneging on his campaign promise not to impose new taxes and say that the PM is having his Julia Gillard moment, in reference to the collection of a carbon and mining tax during Ms Gillard's term, also in violation of her promise.

The result is that the Coalition's approval rating has drastically plummeted that if an election were held now, just barely eight months when the Coalition came to power, there would likely be a hung Australian parliament.

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Cormann, who defended the deficit tax initially pegged at 1per cent for those earning $80,000 a year or more, said, quoted by The Australian, "We will be pursuing structural reforms and structural savings but we also recognise that there is a need for an immediate special effort in order to put ourselves into a stronger starting position as we repair the budget."

He added the special effort would be spread fairly and equitably through Australia's tax system. The latest buzz is the deficit tax would hit those earning at least $150,000 a year at a rate of 2 per cent.

Besides Aussie taxpayers who have been vocal about the planned imposition, Liberal members Warren Entsch, Cory Bernardi and Teresa Gambaro have publicly objected to the tax.

To soften the opposition to the tax, Cormann said, "Coalition members and senators don't like higher taxes. I don't like higher taxes. We want taxes to be as low as possible ... What we would ask people across Australia to do is trust us."

However, that is one thing that has disappeared from the vocabulary of Australians who had to tighten their belts when the Coalition promised a better life under an Abbott-led government that has been in power for only eight months.

While it looks the other way around, Mr Abbott insisted "We will honour the commitment we gave to the Australian people pre-election to get the budget back under control but we will do it in the eye on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and beyond and say we are all in this together, we are all doing out bit."

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