Federal Politics

Scott Morrison: Too much economic 'volatility' for an early election

Treasurer Scott Morrison has linked the timing of this year's federal election to market "volatility", declaring the Turnbull government would go full term as it puts forward its solutions for economic uncertainty.

He also reaffirmed his government's intention to institute tax reform, including cuts to income and company taxes. 

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The Treasurer insisted that rumours of an early election are wrong.

"The Prime Minister has said the government will go full term and that's what we'll be doing," Mr Morrison told business channel Bloomberg on Thursday.

Treasurer Scott Morrison all but confirmed the Weatherill income tax option would be on the table at the COAG meeting, ...
Treasurer Scott Morrison all but confirmed the Weatherill income tax option would be on the table at the COAG meeting, saying there would be nothing to allow an overall increase in the tax take. Photo: Andrew Meares

"And the reason for that is, right now, certainly there is volatility.

"That's of course concerning in the wealth effects for independent retirees in the short term but we're getting about the business of governing, putting forward our economic plans as we go into the next election."

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The last few weeks have seen global financial volatility, led by Chinese markets, and it is predicted to continue throughout the year.

Earlier this week, the Treasurer said that speculation about an early election was a product of the "silly season" and that the election would probably happen around September. 

Treasurer Scott Morrison (right) with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Small Business and Assistant ...
Treasurer Scott Morrison (right) with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

He also said on Thursday that the government was focussed on changes to taxation ahead of the election. 

"We're looking also at strong changes in our tax system as we run into an election later this year and that's all about trying to reduce the burden of personal income taxes and, to the extent that is possible, company taxes to make us more competitive again," he said.

"Structural reforms are critical to achieving the growth forecast we're hoping to achieve.

"Tax will be an important part of that but we've also got productivity reforms that will also support the growth outlook we have."

Mr Morrison has previously said that changing the tax system presented a big opportunity for boosting the economy, pointing to a proposal to increase and broaden the GST while reducing the company tax rate to 22 per cent and also cutting income tax.

Labor opposes any change to the GST, saying it will unfairly hit ordinary and low-income families.

Innovation Minister and leader of the House Christopher Pyne echoed the Treasurer, saying the government wanted to complete its May budget and deliver the defence industry policy statement, defence white paper and tax white paper before going to an election.

It has been reported that Mr Morrison privately lobbied for an early election to capitalise on the government's strong polling.

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