Two thirds of voters in the up-for-grabs seat of Dunkley support Labor’s changes to stage 3 tax cuts, new polling has revealed.
In good news for Labor ahead of the crucial March 2 by-election in the outer-Melbourne seat, a poll commissioned by the Australia Institute found 66 per cent of voters back the Albanese government’s changes to tax cuts.
Notably, more than a quarter of Liberal voters support the restructuring of tax cuts.
The Coalition has been hopeful that portraying Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as a man who breaks his word, has been enough to push voters away from Labor in the seat the late Peta Murphy retained in 2022 with 56.3 per cent.
But the Australia Institute’s polling found Labor currently leads the Liberal Party 52 per cent to 48 per cent in two-party preferred.
Australia Institute chief economist Greg Jericho said an additional 25,000 voters in the seat would now get a tax cut under Labor’s changes.
“The Australia Institute’s research shows that under stage 3, 30 per cent of taxpayers in Dunkley who were left out of Scott Morrison’s stage 3 plans will now receive a tax cut,” he said.
“Reforming the tax cuts was the right thing to do politically, economically, and socially – not just in Dunkley, but for all Australians.”
Under the changes, every taxpayer is guaranteed a tax cut from July 1, with low- and middle-income workers set to benefit the most.
Incomes between $18,200 and $45,000 will be taxed at 16 per cent, down from 19 per cent. The 30 per cent tax rate will apply on incomes between $45,000 and $135,000, and then a 37 per cent rate – which was abolished by the original stage 3 – will apply between $135,000 and $190,000. Above that, the 45 per cent rate will apply.
The reintroduction of the 37 per cent rate will mean an extra $28 billion in taxes being collected over the next decade.
The new polling comes just days after Opposition Leader Peter Dutton accused Anthony Albanese of being motivated by a potential loss in Dunkley to renege on his commitment to the Coalition-era stage 3 tax cuts.
“I think the prime minister has decided that he wants the political fix for Dunkley. I don’t think that’s disputable. I think it’s absolutely the case that they’ve made a political decision,” Mr Dutton told 7.30 on Wednesday.
After a fortnight of lashing the government’s decision, the Coalition on Monday reluctantly supported the government’s restructured tax cuts Bill this week.
But Mr Dutton committed to a policy of broad tax reform at the next federal election in line with the original stage 3 tax cuts.
As a result, Mr Albanese spent the week accusing the Coalition of lacking principle.
“If you are fair dinkum, you would vote against our measure and commit to roll it back,” Mr Albanese said this week.
YouGov’s latest poll found 69 per cent of Australian voters support the changes to stage 3. That poll found 55 per cent of Coalition voters were in favour.
The Dunkley by-election is the first test for the Albanese government for the year, following the death of much-loved Labor MP Peta Murphy late last year.
The March 2 by-election will be a major test for the Albanese government after it came under fire for breaking an election promise on the stage three tax cuts.
Labor’s candidate is community worker Jodie Belyea while popular local mayor Nathan Conroy is standing for the Liberals.
Labor currently holds Dunkley on a margin of 6.3 per cent.
Originally published as Two thirds of Dunkley voters support Albanese government’s changes to stage 3