Australian tax cuts get enough Senate support to become law

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s reelected government has gained enough Senate support to win approval for 158 billion Australian dollars ($110 billion) in tax cuts over a decade.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his conservative coalition’s election victory in May gave him a mandate to pass the tax cuts into law.

The government hopes that the cuts will stimulate a slowing economy that risks dipping into recession for the first time in 28 years.

The central bank cut a key interest rate to a record low 1% this week in a bid to boost employment and wages.

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The government has made the tax cuts its priority since Parliament opened for its first post-election session on Tuesday, when the House of Representatives passed the cuts.

Independent Sen. Jacqui Lambie confirmed on Thursday she would vote for the tax cuts, assuring the government of the single-seat majority the legislation needs in the upper chamber.

The Senate could vote on it later in the day.

The two senators of the minor Center Alliance party, Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick, as well as former government senator Cori Bernardi had previously said they would vote with the government on the legislation.

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