Opening borders secures recovery: Morrison

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Scott Morrison believes reopening Australia's borders to international travellers will help secure the nation's economic recovery.

The prime minister announced on Monday that from December 1 fully vaccinated skilled workers, overseas students and working holiday makers will be able to travel to Australia.

From the same date, Australia will also welcome back fully vaccinated citizens from Japan and the Republic of Korea, joining Singaporean travellers who were allowed entry at the start of this month.

"The steps we are taking today are about securing our economic recovery," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott agreed.

"This will be critical relief for businesses who are struggling to find workers just to keep their doors open and for those who need highly specialised skills to unlock big projects," Ms Westacott said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says small businesses are a major beneficiary of the Morrison government's tax cutting regime, enjoying around $5 billion of tax relief both this year and next.

Treasury analysis of Australian Taxation Office data shows this relief is driving more job creation across the economy, with small and medium sized enterprises having created some 600,000 jobs between April of last year and September of this year.

"Not only are we delivering lower taxes, we are delivering more jobs," Mr Frydenberg told Sky News on Monday.

Still, some of the benefits of lower taxes for business and individuals is being gobbled up by rising fuel costs.

While global oil prices are easing back from October's seven-year highs, petrol prices remain high at the bowser.

The Australian Institute of Petroleum said the national average unleaded pump price rose 1.7 cents a litre last week to 166.2 cent a litre, only just shy of a peak set in October.

"Filling up the car with petrol is one of the single biggest weekly purchases for consumers," Commonwealth Securities senior economist Ryan Felsman said

Assuming the purchase of 35 litres of petrol per week, households' monthly petrol bill is around $232 per month, only just below the record high of $237 in late October.

One tax benefit that is up in the air is whether the government will retain the low and middle income tax offset, which provides tax reduction of up to $1080 for individuals but is due to expire at the end of the 2021/22 financial year.

"We will consider all of our options in terms of broader tax reform, but what we have said is that we are committed to deliver lowering taxes and that's our track record," the treasurer said.

"The leopard doesn't change their spots - the Labor party is committed to higher taxes, we are delivering lower taxes."

However, Labor insists it will not be taking the same tax package to the upcoming election as it took to the last one.

"We're focused on multinational tax avoidance," shadow assistant treasurer Stephen Jones told reporters in Canberra.

"Most Australians would agree that if we give an overseas company the right to come over here and make lots of money, whether they're in mining or anywhere else, they should be paying their fair share."

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