I think it’s fair to say that the last few months of federal parliament has been dominated by tax debates.

Both Labor and the Liberal parties have put forward their alternative tax plans, but what does this mean for you, your family and Bendigo workers?

For people who argue that there is no major difference between the two major political parties, this debate busts that myth. The government’s income tax reform will see low income earners receive a tax cut of about $10 a week from July 1, 2018.

This reform was welcomed by Labor but this is where the bi-partisan support on tax reform ends.

Over the next six years, the government’s plan will mean that someone earning $200,000 a year will pay the same tax rate as someone on $40,000. This is unfair.

Further, those in the top tax bracket, earning more than $200,000, will receive the greatest benefit from the government’s new tax system – and this is on top of a cut to their tax rate last year.

In fact, the Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s tax cuts will put $7000 a year back into his own pocket while the vast majority of workers in Bendigo only get $10 a week.

I, like many, don’t agree with the government’s choice to give even more tax cuts to the top tax bracket at a time when working Australians are struggling with soaring cost of living expenses – energy and health costs are higher than ever and wage growth is at record lows.

Labor has been critical of this approach because we believe it’s unfair and that is why we’ve announced an alternative plan. A Labor government will deliver permanent tax relief for the Australians who need it most.

For Bendigo, this means 74 per cent of workers will be better off under Labor’s plan.

We will seek to implement better, fairer tax cuts through Labor’s Tax Refund for Working Australians – which would double the tax relief to up to $928 per year.

Labor is also opposed to the Liberal government’s $80 billion tax cut for big business. Every dollar that Mr Turnbull gives to big business and the big four banks is a dollar that is not going to our local schools, hospitals and TAFE.

Government is about priorities. I believe Australia needs a fair tax system and tax reforms targeted to those most in need.

In a nut shell, what my Labor colleagues and I are arguing is that because our plan isn’t to give millionaires another tax cut, or giving big business an $80 billion tax cut, we can put more money into the pockets of working Australians, fund better schools and hospitals, and invest in the infrastructure that our region needs.