The Turnbull government's last big vision for economic reform, business tax cuts, just died quietly in a Senate committee

SuppliedPauline Hanson in the senate. Screenshot

The last remaining big ticket policy from the Turnbull government, company tax cuts for businesses with a turnover greater than $50 million, failed in the Senate this morning.

The bill was due to have its third reading this morning, but didn’t have the crossbench support it needed to pass, with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation announcing yesterday that it wasn’t going to back the plan – despite a concession from Treasurer Scott Morrison to cut the big banks out of the deal.

It didn’t even make it out of the committee stage for the third and final reading on the Senate floor.

The government, now appearing to be in terminal decline as Peter Dutton prepares to mount a new leadership challenge, lost its signature economic reform, with the vote 36 against, and just 30 in favour.

An attempt by Victorian independent Derryn Hinch to amend the threshold for the reduction in company tax, from 30% to 25% over the next decade, so it applied to businesses with turnover under $500 million was also defeated with the government refusing to support it on the grounds that it would stop companies seeking to grow above that limit.

Hinch voted against the original legislation.

Finance Minister and Senate leader Mathias Cormann – one of the few conservative frontbenchers to remain loyal to Turnbull in yesterday’s vote – did not call a third reading of the bill.

The Senate has already passed the reduction to 25% for companies with a turnover of less than $50 million, which was due to be phased up to 2026-27.

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