Federal Labor is turning up the heat on the coalition government to split its planned income tax cuts to help immediately stimulate a floundering economy.
The government has repeatedly knocked back the idea of splitting the tax cuts bill that would see changes out to 2022 and 2024, saying it was the plan it took to the recent federal election which it now has a mandate to implement in full.
The total tax plan amounts to $158 billion, a figure the opposition has baulked at given the uncertain economic outlook.
But shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said splitting the bill so that lower and middle income earners can get relief immediately would see them spend more of their disposable income at the shops and get business moving again.
"If the government did the right and responsible thing they would split the bill," Dr Chalmers told reporters in Brisbane on Saturday.
"It may be the parliament would pass those tax cuts unanimously."
He said its is "completely laughable" for the government to try to claim a mandate for its full tax plan when stage three doesn't come into play until 2024 and after the next election.
"The government is now pretending the stage three of the tax cuts, which would come into being in 2024, are some grand plan to fix the slowing economy in 2019," he said.
Dr Chalmers said the government is being "pig-headed" as usual and playing games with the economy.
"They are more interested in a fight with Labor than they are in getting tax relief into the hands of working people and flowing into an economy that needs it," he said.
The recent national accounts showed the economy slowed to a level not seen since the global financial crisis a decade ago, prompting the Reserve Bank to cut the cash rate to a record low of 1.25 per cent.
This week's monthly business survey by National Australia Bank showed the retail sector is now in recession, fuelling expectations of the central bank needing to lower interest rates even further.
Australian Associated Press