Coalition victory to prioritise tax cuts, consumer spending

In what was pegged to be a nail-biting result, Scott Morrison’s Coalition Government has been given a second shot at governing Australia after taking home the shock election result on Saturday.

Pollsters and commentators had largely been predicting a Labor Government would upturn Morrison, but large swings in states such as Queensland and Western Australia saw many voters backing the Liberal Party on the day.

“Thanks again to all Australians, all across the country,” Morrison told reporters after the victory, in which the Liberal Party-Nationals Coalition look poised to form a majority government in the coming hours.

One of the first things on his agenda is the Coalitions $158 billion income tax cut package, which he stated on Sunday was a “priority” for the party.

The personal income tax cut is set to deliver tax relief of up to $1080 for taxpayers earning up to $126,000 a year, which is expected to boost consumer spending, something Inside Retail readers said was an important issue for them going into the election.

The result also means retailers do not need to worry about rising penalty rates, with the Liberal Party staying firm on the Fair Work Commission’s 2016 decision to slowly cut penalty rates to more manageable levels.

The Labor Party opposition had put its intentions forward to overturn the FWC’s decision to cut penalty rates within its first 100 days in office, and to establish a ‘living wage’ to raise the bar for minimum wage earners.

“Every retailer in Australia, whether you’re a big retailer like a Woolworths or Coles or a mum-and-dad operation, has a wages budget to work within. If you’re faced with a position where that budget may get completely blown out… I’m not sure retail can really stand those kinds of costs at the moment,” The Australian Retailers’ Association executive director Russell Zimmerman told Inside Retail.

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