Anthony Albanese addresses whether Labor will introduce a ‘death tax’ – after old comments surfaced about Australia’s failure to tax inheritances

  • Coalition claims Anthony Albanese supports introducing an inheritance tax 
  • The tactic has long been part of a scare campaign by Liberals and Nationals 
  • Labor leader has insisted the ALP has no death taxes policies at this election 
  • ALP has slammed ‘fake news’ appearing on social media on inheritance tax 

Anthony Albanese has confirmed he has no plans to introduce a death tax despite what Labor calls a scare campaign from the Coalition.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has repeatedly claimed the Labor leader wants an inheritance tax and described it as his ’30-year-project’ in an opinion piece in February.

But Mr Albanese shot those claims down this week, telling News Corp: ‘We have zero plans to have any measures like that. None.’ 

Anthony Albanese (pictured on Thursday with nurses) has confirmed he has no plans to introduce a death tax 

The Labor leader – who was brought up in housing commission by a single mum – has previously advocated a death tax.  

In a speech to the ALP centenary conference in 1991, he said: ‘If you become a millionaire through hard work or investment you are taxed on it.

‘If, however, you gain your wealth through the lottery of birth then there’s no taxation and you achieve that economic influence in society through nothing other than sheer luck. 

‘I believe that quite clearly is in contradiction to Labor’s social justice ­objectives.’

However, Mr Albanese is not proposing an inheritance tax at this election and the ALP has even posted on its website warning voters about ‘fake news’.

‘Fake news is circulating on social media platforms alleging that Labor has done a secret deal to introduce a ‘death tax’ or inheritance tax,’ the site reads.

‘This fake news is completely without merit and just a desperate and pathetic lie.

‘The Liberals and their supporters are lying about Labor’s position on an inheritance tax.

‘Labor will not do this.’  

The Labor leader is campaigning to boost investment in health and set up 50 first-aid clinics

The Labor leader is campaigning to boost investment in health and set up 50 first-aid clinics

Two thirds of the OECD group of rich nations have some form of death taxes – either a tax on the estate of the dead person or a tax paid by relatives when they receive their inheritance. 

Australia joins Israel, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Norway among those that do not have any death taxes. 

In an OECD questionnaire, governments which don’t have a death tax said the policy was either too unpopular or had a high administrative burden for relatively meagre revenue gains.

Opponents of death taxes say they reduce investment in the economy by encouraging elderly people to frivolously spend their money instead of parking it with banks and fund managers.

They also say death taxes reduce the incentive to work hard to pass wealth on to your relatives.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured with and Michele Bullock, the Deputy Governor at the Reserve Bank of Australia) claims Mr Albanese likes inheritance taxes

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured with and Michele Bullock, the Deputy Governor at the Reserve Bank of Australia) claims Mr Albanese likes inheritance taxes

Albo’s election campaign so far

Day 1: Wrongly guessed unemployment rate was 5.4% and couldn’t state the Reserve Bank interest rate

Day 2: Announced boost for mental health in regional areas. Admitted he did not know who Human Rights Commissioner Lorraine Finlay was

Day 3: Announced 50 new first-aid clinics. Left press conference early in what signalled a strategy shift after previously saying he would take all questions

Day 4: Announced first-aid clinic in Cessnock. Rambled about his old jobs 

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