Business

Morrison lauds Trump's corporate tax cuts

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has praised Donald Trump's corporate tax cuts, saying they have already pushed up wages for Walmart workers.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has suggested Australia should copy Donald Trump's tax policies, saying struggling Aussie families won't get ahead if their employers are taxed too heavily.

Mr Morrison made the comments in the wake of a new Oxfam report on the widening gap between Australia's haves and have-nots.

The report says wealth inequality in Australia is among the worst in the developed world, with Australia ranked 22 out of the 35 OECD countries.

Oxfam says the richest one per cent of Australians continue to own more wealth than the bottom 70 per cent of Australians combined, and the government must end corporate tax cuts.

But Mr Morrison has told Sky News: "You will not get higher wages growth by keeping company taxes high".

He pointed to mega-retailer Walmart's decision to bump up wages on the back of US President Trump's controversial corporate tax cuts.

"We are already seeing that happen in the United States from companies there in response to the tax relief that's been extended," the treasurer said on Monday.

There were emerging signs of contraction in the labour market and Australia needed to be "doing the things that back the economy in, that help businesses grow, employ more people and support better wages".

Oxfam said Australia's rich were getting richer while wage growth for ordinary workers had slowed to record lows and was barely keeping pace with the cost of living.

The ACTU seized on the report, saying the enterprise bargaining system is broken and Aussie workers urgently need a pay rise.

"Working people can't get fair pay rises because workers rights no longer balance the power of employers, and as a result, we have rising and crippling inequality," ACTU secretary Sally McManus said in a statement on Monday.

Opposition finance spokesman Jim Chalmers accused the government of "turbo-charging inequality" by giving big tax breaks to the top end of town, jacking up income taxes low and middle income households, and attacking the wages and conditions of working people.

"A lot of people in Australia think that the rules of the economy are written to benefit somebody else at their expense, they feel like no matter how hard they work they just can't get ahead, they can't keep up with the rising costs of living," he told reporters in Brisbane.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch