Australia PM to introduce bill to reshape tax cuts on Tuesday

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Sunday his government would legislate changes this week to planned tax cuts set to reduce benefits to the wealthy while giving low-income earners more breaks, as Australians endure higher living costs.

"We'll release the actual legislation later today it will be introduced into the parliament on Tuesday," Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

He said he wanted the bill passed "during this existing session" of federal parliament, which resumes on Feb. 6.

The new policy, recently announced, will see people earning up to A$135,000 ($88,763) fall into lower tax brackets from July 1. For some high-income earners tax breaks will nearly halve, with the savings redirected to those on low incomes.

Albanese flagged last month that his centre-left government would soon legislate the changes but did not specify a timeline.

Australian households are under broad financial pressure from high inflation, which rose to 7.8% in December 2022, before easing to 5.4% in the third quarter of 2023.

In May 2023, the Albanese-led Labour government unveiled A$23 billion in targeted cost-of-living relief, and had been under pressure to provide more relief in the lead up to unveiling the reshaped policy.

The political opposition says Albanese, whose popularity has dipped in recent polls, has wrecked his credibility for breaking an election pledge not to modify the tax policy, legislated by the previous government in 2019.

(Reporting by Sam McKeith in Sydney; Editing by David Gregorio)