on air now

Labor frontbencher says Scott Morrison is ‘holding parliament to ransom’

Article image for Labor frontbencher says Scott Morrison is ‘holding parliament to ransom’

A Labor frontbencher admits his party “can’t afford” to block the Coalition’s tax cuts but says Scott Morrison is “holding parliament to ransom”.

Tax reform will take centre stage when parliament resumes next week, with the government demanding its tax package is passed in full.

Labor had promised to back the multi-billion dollar cuts but is now saying it will only support two of the three stages.

The government is refusing to split the package and could force the Senate to sit continuously until it’s legislated.

Senior Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon tells Ray Hadley the Opposition “can’t afford to get in between taxpayers and a tax cut after suffering a heavy defeat” at the election.

But, he insists “the majority of the parliament has concerns about stage three”.

“Remember Ray, Labor’s vote has only become important because the government hasn’t been able to convince the Senate crossbench on the merits of stage three.

“The government is holding the parliament to ransom in effect.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Mr Fitzgibbon says he has raised his concerns about Labor blocking the cuts with the Opposition leader and that they are on the same page.

“Yes, they are [listening] and I’m in deep conversation with Anthony Albanese. He gets it.”

Without Labor’s support, the government needs to convince four crossbenchers to back the deal.