Voters give hope for business tax cuts

Colin Brinsden and Karen Sweeney
Treasurer Scott Morrison's company tax cuts package has been backed in a new opinion poll

The Turnbull government can head into a Senate showdown over business tax cuts at the end of the month hoping senators of all stripes are listening to voters.

A Sky News/ReachTEL poll shows 49 per cent of voters back a company tax rate of 25 per cent for all businesses while 43 per cent disagree.

So far only companies with a turnover of less than $50 million are enjoying lower taxes.

The poll also found there was even greater support for the cut for larger businesses in two of the Labor seats facing by-elections.

Fifty-eight per cent support a reduction in the company tax rate from 30 per cent in Longman, Queensland and 56 per cent in Braddon, Tasmania.

Workplace Minister Craig Laundy says the poll justifies the lengths the government has gone to in pursuing the cuts.

Where tax cuts had started rolling out, he said a million wage earners working for small businesses had experienced a 5.3 per cent pay rise over the past 12 months.

"There's not just employment that comes off the back of that ... but also the wage rises will start to flow through," he told Sky News on Sunday.

At this stage, the government is still short of the numbers to pass the legislation when the Senate next sits in the final two weeks of June with Labor, the Greens and some crossbench senators against the 10-year tax plan.

Pauline Hanson dealt the government a bitter blow two weeks ago when she pulled out of an agreement with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann to back the tax cut.

One of her One Nation senators, Brian Burston, has since said he would back the cuts, causing a major rift in the party.

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale believes One Nation was wrong to back the tax cuts in the first place.

"If this is a party that represents battlers ... you don't give massive hand-outs to some of the richest companies in the world," Senator Di Natale told ABC television.

"But it shows they can't be trusted."

Labor frontbencher Brendan O'Connor also stuck the boot in, describing it as "multiple nations" rather than One Nation.

"I think it's just one Pauline and the rest are defectors," he told reporters in Adelaide.

However, despite its internal problems One Nation jumped three points in its primary vote to nine per cent in the Sky/ReachTEL poll.