One Nation leader Pauline Hanson withdraws support for company tax cuts

22 May 2018

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson withdraws support for company tax cuts

Image credit: The Guardian Australia

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has dealt a hefty blow to the Turnbull Government’s company tax cut by revoking her promise to support the cut.

The Government planned to reduce the company tax rate from 30% to 25% but has struggled to find support in the Senate since its proposal.

Last March, senator Hanson struck a deal with the Coalition to support the tax cuts in exchange for an apprenticeship pilot program for young Australians.

However Ms Hanson, who controls three crossbench votes in the senate, says that there has been no money put aside for the program.

Ms Hanson also criticised the Government for not implementing the tax cuts fast enough, and that the plan was not supported by the people.

“The whole fact is, if they’re ­serious about this, then start doing something about it now,” she told News Corp. “This government is talking about it six or eight years down the track, well that’s not good enough. The people in general don’t want it. It has not been well ­received. The Government has not been able to sell the package to the people and they haven’t cut through.”

The Coalition has responded to her withdrawal, with Liberal senator Mathias Cormann saying the apprenticeship scheme was always conditional.

“It was always understood and accepted by Pauline Hanson and One Nation that the things we agreed were conditional on the successful passage of the legislation in full, to reduce the business tax rate over time for all businesses down to 25% and that remains the Government’s position,” Senator Cormann said.

He also said that Ms Hanson had made firm private and public confirmations that she would support the bill.

“I am obviously very disappointed with this latest development, but self-evidently I hope this is not the last word,” Senator Cormann said.

Ms Hanson’s shocking turnaround comes prior to the crucial byelection in the seat of Longman, Queensland, which is known to be One Nation’s heartland.

A date for the byelection in Queensland has not been set, and it is still unclear how influential Ms Hanson’s decision to remove support will be for the One Nation party.