Shorten's budget reply targets top earners

Mr Shorten is also expected to argue for the retention of the deficit levy on high income earners, which raises about $1.2 billion per year, in his budget reply speech, which will take the fight to the Turnbull government and attempt to frame the Coalition as more concerned with millionaires than the middle class.

The government wants to increase the Medicare levy paid by nearly all workers by half a percentage point to 2.5 per cent of taxable income from July 1, 2019, to provide long-term funding for the NDIS. "Labor will not support spending $19.4 billion on the wealthiest 2% of Australians", he said in his budget reply on Thursday night.

It would mean a worker on $55,000 would pay $275 extra a year, while someone on $80,000 would face an extra $400.

Later the treasurer said the cost over the "next" 10 years would be $65.4 billion.

"Labor can not support making people on modest incomes give up even more of their pay packet", he said.

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He will also tonight outline Labor's position on the Turnbull Government's housing package, which doesn't touch negative gearing or capital gains tax but includes measures for first home buyers, downsizers and renters. Labor would only support the levy rise for those in the top two tax brackets.

The opposition leader will emphasise budgets are about "choices".

Treasurer Scott Morrison's second budget delivered on Tuesday signalled an end to the two per cent levy imposed on those with a taxable income over $180,000 a year, which was temporarily put in place in 2014 to help balance the books.

They're facing a backlash from the bankers over the surprise $6.2 billion levy on Australia's largest financial institutions.

Shorten announced that a Labor government would cap at $3,000 the amount people could deduct for the management of their tax affairs.

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This, he will argue, is a rort and the change will hit less than 1 per cent of taxpayers.

Thus, should these Budget measures get passed, high income earners will in fact receive a net 1.5% tax cut, whereas everyone else bar the lowest income taxpayers will be slugged with a 0.5% tax increase.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Mr Shorten's speech was full of political rhetoric but short on a plan to grow the economy and create jobs.

"If Bill Shorten is serious he needs to come clean with the Australian people about how much bigger the deficit would be over the forward estimates period as a result of the announcements that he has made", Cormann said.

"His numbers didn't add up".

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