ABC star Michael Rowland confronts Anthony Albanese about his credibility after broken promise – as new poll shows many Aussies have lost trust in the Prime Minister

Anthony Albanese has been grilled about his credibility after reworked stage three tax cuts that he had guaranteed to leave untouched were passed overnight.

A Senate vote was held on Tuesday evening in which the Coalition begrudgingly supported the government’s tax overhaul which will mean all of Australia’s 13.6 million taxpayers will receive tax relief from the middle of the year.

While the Prime Minister seems to be counting on the extra cash in voters’ pockets helping them to forget his broken promise, a new poll shows this might not be the case with his perceived trustworthiness taking a dive.

‘These were changes different to the the position that you took to the election. Are you worried though that it all comes at a cost to your credibility?’ ABC News Breakfast host Michael Rowland asked the PM on Wednesday. 

An Essential Poll published in The Guardian this week showed the Labor leader’s trustworthiness rating has dropped by a significant 15 points.

News Breakfast host Michael Rowland grilled Mr Albanese over whether he was worried his credibility had taken a hit over his stage three tax cuts broken promise

‘It wasn’t an easy decision but the right decision for all the right reasons. We know that families are under cost of living pressure,’ Mr Albanese fired back. 

‘The idea that we could sit back and ignore the clear recommendations that this was the best way that we could have an impact on providing that assistance to middle Australia without putting upward pressure on inflation – we couldn’t ignore that.

‘The Liberals said that they’d oppose it. Then they said that they’d roll it back. Then they said we should take it to an election. Then they ended up voting for it. So, they changed their position as well.’ 

According to the Essential Poll just over a third of Australians at 37 per cent consider Mr Albanese trustworthy, while even less at 34 per cent consider him visionary, down 12 points since March 2023.

It also showed the Coalition has pulled ahead of Labor for the first time since the election holding 48 per cent of the two-party preferred vote compared to the government’s 47 per cent.

Mr Albanese  said Australians should see more money in their bank accounts from mid-year with the changes to take effect from July 1.

‘By getting it passed now there’s time for employers to get measures in place and, of course, when you have an income increase like this, it will be very positive for people to be able to plan for it,’ he said.

At a press conference following the passage of the tax package, he hailed the change as a ‘huge win’ for Australian workers.

‘Australians are earning more and they will get to keep more of what they earn,’ Mr Albanese said.

Anthony Albanese (pictured with newly engaged fiancée Jodie Haydon) has taken a hit in recent polls showing the Coalition is gaining ground ahead of a crucial by-election

Anthony Albanese (pictured with newly engaged fiancée Jodie Haydon) has taken a hit in recent polls showing the Coalition is gaining ground ahead of a crucial by-election

Prior to the final vote, Opposition finance spokeswoman Jane Hume told the Senate that the Coalition would not oppose tax relief for Australians.

‘But that doesn’t mean we condone the mistruth that was told,’ Senator Hume said, pointing to the government’s broken promise in altering the tax package.

The Greens, who sought to refer the legislation to committee, failed to get support for their proposal.

The Albanese government’s rejig of the stage three tax cuts retains the tax-free threshold at its current rate of $19,200, lowers the rate on income earned up to $45,000 to 16 per cent – down from 19 per cent – and lowers the rate of the $45,000 to $135,000 tax bracket to 30 per cent – down from 32.5 per cent.

Additionally, the 37 per cent tax bracket will be retained between $135,000 and $190,000, after which the top marginal tax rate will then kick in at $190,000 at a 45 per cent rate.

The overhaul usurps tax changes, introduced by the then-Morrison government in 2019, which would have created a single tax bracket between $45,000 and $180,000 at a rate of 30 per cent.

Despite offering additional relief to taxpayers under pressure from elevated interest rates and still-high inflation, Mr Albanese has failed to gain further support in opinion polls according to Newspoll and Resolve surveys.

The Coalition has vowed to develop a tax reform package ahead of the next federal election, due by May 2025 at the latest, which would be ‘in keeping with the stage 3 tax cuts’.

The passing of the Bill comes just days before the crucial Dunkley by-election, which will be a litmus test of middle Australia under pressure from cost of living pressures.

Mr Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton have both played down their chances of electoral success in Saturday’s by-election.