Australian Prime Minister Television interview – Sunrise

Prime Minister

Let’s go to Canberra now. And Labor has had a huge win overnight with its reworked stage 3 tax cuts sailing through the Senate after the Coalition waved it through.

NATALIE BARR, HOST: The passing of the bill is being hailed as a win for every single taxpayer. And Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, joins us now live. Good morning to you, Prime Minister. We will get to tax cuts in a minute.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good morning. Great to be with you.

BARR: We have to congratulate on your recent engagement. Congratulations.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks so much, Nat. People have been very generous and kind. We’re really happy. It was a lot of thought went into it, doing it on Valentine’s Day and we’re just full of joy, it’s been a really good time, even though, of course, due to the nature of my job, we haven’t seen that much of each other since. But we are just really happy.

SHIRVINGTON: So are you going to try and squeeze the wedding in before the election, or is that coming this year too?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, we’ve got to work out a time. And you need not just, of course, a date for the big day but hopefully a few days afterwards for a break together. So, we will sit down when we have a chance. I think what we’ve done is schedule in to try to sit down and finalise a date perhaps over Easter when we have time of having actually a few days off together.

BARR: You’re getting married at Easter?

PRIME MINISTER: No, no. We will work on a date at Easter.

BARR: You will get your diaries together.

PRIME MINISTER: There is no chance of this being done too quickly, just due to the nature of my diary means since the proposal I’ve been in Perth and Melbourne and Sydney and Newcastle and Central Coast. And tomorrow, I go to Adelaide and then tomorrow and then to Melbourne. It’s the nature of the job, I’m afraid.

BARR: Okay, let’s talk tax cuts. People have been hearing about this, they’ve seen the headlines. The package sailed through the Senate overnight. When will people actually see cash in their pocket?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, they will get cash in their pockets from the financial year, so from July. And it will mean all 13.6 million taxpayers will get a tax cut. Those people who earn under $45,000, who were not going to get anything at all, will now get a tax cut and, by lowering that first rate from 19 to 16 cents, that then flowing right through the system. But, in addition to that, at each level there are changes. We pushed out the 37 cent rate from 120,000 so it kicks in at 135,000. We have lifted the top rate from 180,000 to 190,000 because we want everyone to get a piece of this action. It is important that low- and middle-income earners not miss out. And the truth is low-income earners were going to miss out completely and middle-income earners will now get double what they were going to get.

SHIRVINGTON: Now that it’s happening, Albo, the broken election promise, do you think people will forgive you for that?

PRIME MINISTER: I think people know that this was not an easy decision but it was the right decision done for the right reasons. And it’s good economic policy as well. The Treasury forecast was that some 930,000 additional hours will be worked each week. People will be encouraged back into the workforce at a time when we do have workforce shortages, skills shortages. And when you combine it with the fact that real wages increased in 2023, our objective here is for people to earn more and keep more of what they earn more and keep more of what they earn. And that is what this is about. Not leaving people behind but also lifting people up right through the income scales.

SHIRVINGTON: So, Prime Minister, when will the money hit the bank accounts of those people?

PRIME MINISTER: It will hit from July through the financial system. But by getting it passed now, there’s lots of time for employers to get those measures in place. Of course, when you have an increase like this in people’s income, it will be very positive for people to be able to plan for it because those combinations of real wage increases, the tax cuts that are being put in place, as well as the other measures to provide cost of living support, which are there with cheaper child care that’s been reduced on average by 11 per cent, our energy price relief plan, cheaper medicines and, of course, fee-free TAFE where 350,000 Australians benefitted from that just like year.

BARR: Let’s talk about the by-election in Dunkley over the weekend. First of all, you’re down in the polls. The other big story out today, the nation’s biggest health insurers say you’ve actually delaying an increase in premiums until after the by-election, is that true?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, what a nonsense story that is. The nation’s big health insurance companies put out a story to try and say that it should be just tick and flick on health insurance increases. Well, we haven’t done that. We have done what other governments have done to be fair as well, which is to go back and try to get the best deal possible for consumers. This is a normal time frame occurs, either at the end of February or the beginning of March. That’s what’s going on here. But we want the best deal for consumers. And we make no apologies for that. The Health Minister is doing his job.

SHIRVINGTON: PM, just before we let you go, your beloved Rabbitohs are playing in Vegas this weekend up against my beloved Sea Eagles. I wanted to ask you, did you float the idea with Jodie?

PRIME MINISTER: Shirvo, I didn’t know you were one of them.

SHIRVINGTON: I know. Don’t worry. We get booed pretty much anywhere we go. Did you float the idea with Jodie to get over to Vegas and get married at the same time as watching the Bunnies?

PRIME MINISTER: I’ve got to say, Peter V’landys was keen on the idea of a marriage perhaps by an Elvis impersonator at half-time at the Bunnies-Sea Eagles game. But that won’t be happening. But we appreciate the idea. It certainly would be something a little bit different.

SHIRVINGTON: With V’landys as your best man, there you go with the Elvis impersonator. I can see this in the Little White Chapel.

PRIME MINISTER: Look, if you saw Peter at the State Dinner that was held in Washington with President Biden, you would have seen the velour jacket. He has got the outfit all set.

SHIRVINGTON: Happy to have a personal wager on the game this weekend as well, PM.

PRIME MINISTER: Okay. How about a six-pack, Shirvo? That probably doesn’t break any rules, does it?

SHIRVINGTON: Down for it. Call you on Monday.


BARR: You will have to declare that. Thank you, Prime Minister. See you later.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks, guys.

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