The Greens have said the Labor Government must scrap its proposed tax on people who drive electric vehicles if it truly wants to make a difference to eclectic vehicle uptake.

In the 2018 Federal Budget, the Coalition government announced its Personal Income Tax Plan, a seven-year plan of income tax cuts designed to reduce taxes for the vast majority of Australians and make the system simpler. The changes were designed to take place over three stages. Recently, the government has brought forward the second stage of its Personal Income Tax Plan for the 2020–21 income year.

The second stage consists of retaining LMITO (Low and Middle Income Tax Offset), increasing LITO( Low Income Tax Offset) from $455 to $700, raising the upper threshold for the 19% tax bracket from $37 000 to $45 000, changing the 32.5% tax bracket from $37 001-$90 000 to $45 001-$120 000 and raising the lower threshold for the 37% tax bracket from $90 001 to $120 001. At its completion in 2024-25, the enhanced Personal Income Tax Plan will deliver a simpler tax system with only three tax rates. Australians earning between $45 000 and $200 000 will face a marginal tax rate of 30 percent.
Although it seems complicated, the Australian Greens are contesting the plan saying that the modest incentives announced don’t go far enough and will be completely undermined by the government’s backwards tax. Their biggest complaint is in regards to the tax associated with vehicles, especially cars. They call it laughable since the up to $3 000 incentive for only 20 000 cars will do almost nothing t
o offset the effect of the proposed tax on Australians when they weigh whether to make the switch to an electric vehicle.

According to Senator Janet Rice, the Australian Greens spokesperson for transport, “these incentives are nowhere near enough to make a difference to electric uptake or to reduce transport emissions. We need a national approach and plan for fast EV uptake in Australia, so we don’t fall even further behind the rest of the developed world. But because the Morrison Government has failed to deliver on a national EV strategy at every turn, we’re now seeing state governments go off half-cocked with half-baked policy.”

Another Australian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins, said that “While governments around the world are racing ahead with massive cash incentives and bans on petrol cars, the benefits of this modest announcement will be undermined by Labor’s own tax on electric vehicles. Labor’s confusing approach of offering incentives for electric vehicles with one hand while increasing taxes on them with other will undermine efforts to reduce transport emissions.”

The Greens have said the Victorian Labor Government must let go of its proposed tax on people who drive electric vehicles if they want to make a difference to electric vehicles, but the Government has yet to respond to the complaints.

Beatriz Neves

Beatriz Neves is a second-year student at Dawson College, where she will graduate from the Literature Profile with a minor in Journalism by 2021. She wants to continue her studies in literature and journalism at University after CEGEP. In her free time, she enjoys reading, meditation and playing tennis.

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