Budget winners and losers. It is not just tax payers and welfare beneficiaries who will be winners and losers in next week’s budget. The reputation of members of the Canberra Press Gallery is at stake as well. This morning sees some extraordinary differences in the predictions by the pundits as to what will happen, for example, to taxation rates for higher income earners.

On the side of those saying that already legislated tax cuts are safe we find this lot:

  • Tax cuts safe — Courier Mail. The rich will receive extra cash in the Rudd Government’s Budget but will face a barrage of new means-testing to offset their promised tax cuts. Treasurer Wayne Swan yesterday hinted his $24 billion in cuts — spread over two years — would go ahead in next Tuesday’s Budget.
  • Tax cuts safe despite budget ‘nasties’ — Melbourne Age. The July 1 tax cuts appear safe in next week’s budget, despite federal Treasurer Wayne Swan declining to give a guarantee and warning the public of unpopular decisions.
  • I will deliver on tax cuts and age pensions, Swan vows — Sydney Morning Herald. The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, insisted yesterday that the Federal Government would keep its promises to cut taxes and increase pensions despite facing one of the toughest federal budgets in decades because of the global economic slowdown.

Spreading the fear that we are about to have another lot of L.A.W. law tax cuts removed we have:

  • High earners’ promised tax cuts in jeopardy at Federal Budget — Sydney Daily Telegraph. Well-off people might lose out on promised tax cuts as the federal government warns it has to get tough in the May 12 budget. Treasurer Wayne Swan has refused to guarantee that tax cuts for people earning over $80,000 will go ahead as planned on July 1.
  • Treasurer Wayne Swan warns of Budget pain for everyone — Melbourne Herald Sun. Wealthy Australians could be among the hardest hit with the Treasurer not guaranteeing their promised tax cuts.
  • Tax cuts in Budget firing line — ABC AM. Tax cuts for high-earners may have to be scrapped as Treasurer Wayne Swan faces an ever-worsening Budget bottom line.