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Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

PETER Costello dished out per­sonal in­come tax cuts of $14.7 bil­lion over four years, which gave Aus­tralia’s high­est earn­ers an ex­tra $42.21 in their weekly pay­pack­ets.

The Trea­surer said the cuts would mean more than 80 per cent of tax­pay­ers would re­main in, or below, the 30 per cent tax

bracket. In what was a pre­elec­tion sweet­ener, Mr Costello an­nounced a two-stage rise in the in­come tax thresh­olds for the 42 and 47 per cent tax brack­ets.

The first rise to the tax thresh­olds will kick in on July 1, 2004, when the 42 per cent thresh­old was raised from $52,001 to $58,001 and from July 1, 2005 it would rise again to $63,001.

The 47 per cent thresh­old will rise from $52,001 to $58,001 in July of 2004 and rise again from July 1, 2005 to $80,001.

Mr Costello said the rises would en­sure that Aus­tralians on av­er­age earn­ings stayed in the 30 per cent tax bracket and were in­su­lated from the ef­fects of bracket creep.

”Our in­come tax rates should be kept as low as is con­sis­tent with our spend­ing re­quire­ments,” he said. “Peo­ple on mid­dle in­comes should not face the top rate of in­come tax.

The Howard Govern­ment was re-elected for the fi­nal time in 2004.

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