Australia: Tradie and father-of-three, 49, is suspended from his job after asking Bill Shorten a question about tax breaks while enjoying a work barbecue - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaTradie and father-of-three, 49, is suspended from his job after asking Bill Shorten a question about tax breaks while enjoying a work barbecue

14:25  13 may  2019
14:25  13 may  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Video provided by Nine News

A tradesman who asked Bill Shorten about tax breaks for high-income earners has been suspended from his contract job and forced to find a new job.

The father-of-three, 49, was at a free barbecue put on by his workplace in Gladstone, Queensland last month when the Opposition Leader approached him.

He was caught on camera at the Gladstone Ports Corporation telling Mr Shorten: 'It would be good to see higher wage income earners given a tax break.'

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The electrical engineer went on to explain he and his colleagues worked a lot of overtime, and made up to $250,000 a year because they worked night shifts. According to the ATO, a person earning that amount can expect to pay $85,000 in tax.

Tradie and father-of-three, 49, is suspended from his job after asking Bill Shorten a question about tax breaks while enjoying a work barbecue © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited An electrical engineer was 'suspended' from his job after asking Bill Shorten for tax cuts for high income earners when the Opposition Leader visited his workplace last month (pictured)

Mr Shorten responded by telling the man Labor would 'look at' lowering taxes for high-income earners, but was later forced to back track on his remarks.

The next day, the man tried to go to work but found his pass no longer worked, The Courier Mail reported. He was told he'd been suspended as he did not have permission to speak to the media.

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The contents of his desk were packed up and sent to his house last week, but on Friday - after media began to make inquiries - the man was told his suspension had been lifted and he could return to work.

By that time, he had taken another short-term job elsewhere.

A spokesperson for Gladstone Ports Corporation said the man had been suspended, but did not comment as to why the contents of his desk were sent to his home.

Tradie and father-of-three, 49, is suspended from his job after asking Bill Shorten a question about tax breaks while enjoying a work barbecue © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Shorten had told the man he would 'look at' his request, but was later forced to walk back these remarks

'The individual, a subcontractor not a Gladstone Ports Corporation employee, was not in a position to speak with any knowledge or authority on behalf of the organisation,' a statement released by the company said.

'GPC has a stakeholder and media engagement policy for the appropriate spokesperson for GPC.'

In a later statement, the corporation said the man was 'still employed by the contractor and carrying out work for their employer'.

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'GPC did not instruct any employees or contractors to attend the visit,' the statement continued. 'The worker is a sub-contractor, and as such GPC cannot comment on any decisions made by their employers.'

Mr Shorten was later forced to backtrack on his response to the man, telling media: 'I told him I understood his point of view... we would like to lower income taxes for everybody, but you've got to do it when it's sustainable.'

His remarks had caused issues for the Labor Party, who had been actively campaigning to tax 'the top end of town' by curbing tax concessions for high-income earners.

There is no suggestion Mr Shorten or the Labor Party were in any way involved with the engineer's suspension.

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