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Government will move quickly, says Chalmers; Dutton participation preferred

“I’m not going to a summit with those people,” Mr. Dutton said, referring to “grubs and thugs” from the CFMEU.

Nationals leader David Littleproud, however, said he would go to give rural and regional Australia a voice. Dr. Chalmers then wrote to him on Wednesday seeking clarification of where he stood given Mr. Dutton’s comments, and offering him an invitation.

“The Coalition is in disarray and Peter Dutton has been isolated and humiliated,” Dr. Chalmers said.

Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor called on Dr Chalmers to rule out in advance a summit wish list proposed by the ACTU which called for an end to the Reserve Bank of Australia using interest rates to control inflation.

Instead, it advocated greater commonwealth involvement in managing inflation by increasing its role in the economy, including through regulating housing credit, price controls, canceling the stage three tax cuts, and raising high-income and company taxes when the economy is too strong, and forcing companies to reinvest profits in the business rather than returning them to shareholders.

Mr Taylor said the plan for “higher taxes, higher inflation and heavy-handed government” would represent a throwback to the economic mismanagement of the 1970s and would swing a wrecking ball through the economy.

Dr. Chalmers, who is in the process of inviting 100 attendees to the summit, said he would not engage in pre-summit jousting over individual proposals.

“Whether it’s business or unions or others, we want participants from all sides to be making suggestions in the lead-up to the summit, and we will bring our own ideas as well,” he said.

“We aren’t looking for unanimity on every suggestion, we are looking for broad consensus on the ways forward, and that inevitably means not every idea that’s pitched up will be progressed.”

Mr Chalmers said where possible, ideas would be acted on immediately and incorporated in the October 25 budget, next year’s budget, or in an employment white paper that will emanate from the summit and provide policy ideas to take to the next election.

“Our intention is for this to be much more than some kind of meaningless gathering, we want to have genuine, lasting improvements made to our labor market and our economy as a consequence of this important summit,” he said.

Dr. Chalmers has invited representatives from business, industry, the unions and the community sector.

In addition, the eight prime ministers and chief ministers will be invited, along with members of the crossbench.

The Greens welcomed the ACTU proposals, especially the call to abandon the stage-three income tax cuts which have been legislated to begin in July 1, 2024, to introduce a super profits tax “to rein in corporate profiteering” and a reform of business tax “to encourage productive investment”.

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