Budget 2016: Turnbull's corporate tax cuts to cost almost $50 billion over 10 years

Treasury officials have revealed the Government's plan to cut the company tax rate to 25 per cent will cost $48.2 billion over 10 years.

The estimate from the Treasury Secretary comes after the Opposition pounced on the Coalition's refusal to outline the full cost of the proposal.

Treasury Secretary John Fraser told Senate Estimates it is not "standard practice" to release costings beyond four years, but said the ten-year company tax plan would cost tens of billions of dollars.

"The cost of these measures to 2026-27 is $48.2 billion in cash terms," Mr Fraser said.

"I note that as with all tax projections over ten years these costings have considerable uncertainty attached to them. I also note that the medium-term economic projections in the budget assume significant ongoing economic reforms."

Mr Fraser said the Treasurer Scott Morrison had authorised the release of the projection, but only after continued pressure from the Opposition.

He made the comments during questioning from Labor Senator Penny Wong, detailed in the following exchange;

Wong: Can you tell me when the decision was made to put the ten-year costs of the company tax cuts into your opening statement?

Fraser: Late yesterday afternoon.

Wong: Who made the decision?

Fraser: The Treasurer.

Wong: Was it at your suggestion that the ten-year cost be included?

Fraser: No.

Wong: So the Treasurer determined to put it in?

Fraser: Correct.

Wong: Was this discussion before or after question time?

Fraser: It was about six o'clock ... roughly.

Earlier today, Industry Minister Christopher Pyne would not be drawn on the figure.


Treasury officials have also confirmed only two of the 11 measures outlined in the budget's ten year enterprise tax plan had been costed.

Mr Fraser said he had "not been authorised to release those", which Senator Wong pounced on.

"So the total cost of the Government's plan is obviously going to be significantly more than $48.2 billion."

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who was also in Senate Estimates, was quick to remind Senator Wong of her time in Government.

"When you were the Finance Minister ... this is what you said, quote unquote,' we don't release 10-year costings'," Senator Cormann said.

"The truth is that the Government's package ... we are improving the budget bottom line by $1.7 billion."

Source: ABC News

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