CANBERRA, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's signature proposed tax cuts are in jeopardy after a key Senator ruled out supporting the changes.
Pauline Hanson, leader of the right-wing One Nation party, on Monday rejected Morrison's plea to support the 158 billion Australian dollars (110.2 billion U.S. dollars) tax cuts, saying she could not do so "at this stage" when money should be spent elsewhere.
"I think there are more important issues out there that are of concern to the Australian people," she said during an appearance on Nine network television.
She said that the money should be spent on initiatives that would bring employment to Australia, water security, cheaper electricity, keep our industries manufacturing in the country such as a new coal-fired power plant.
Under the tax plan, which was the foundation of Morrison's successful re-election campaign, the average Australian would pocket an extra up to 1,080 Australian dollars (753.9 U.S. dollars) per year.
Following the general election on May 18, the governing Liberal National Party (LNP) Coalition holds 35 seats in the Senate; four short of the 39 needed to pass legislation.
With the Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP), Greens and One Nation, who hold 36 seats between them, set to oppose the cuts Morrison must secure the support of the four remaining crossbenchers. Failing to deliver the cuts would be a significant blow to the government.
Responding to Hanson's announcement, Mathias Cormann, the minister for Finance, said the door is open to all non-government Senators to negotiate for their support.
"We took a plan to the election," he said.
"The Australian people voted for tax relief for all hard-working Australians," he said.
"It is incumbent on all parties in the Senate to respect the verdict of the Australian people," he said.