Not interested in top job, Shorten insists

Colin BrinsdenAAP
"I think that Anthony Albanese can win the next election," former Labor leader Bill Shorten says.
Camera Icon"I think that Anthony Albanese can win the next election," former Labor leader Bill Shorten says. Credit: AAP

Bill Shorten insists he has no interest in returning to the leadership of the Labor party, dismissing a story that he has been discussing this issue with colleagues as "boring" and unsourced.

During an interview on the ABC's Insiders program on Sunday, he was asked by host David Speers several times whether he was interested in Labor's top job, to which Mr Shorten replied: "No."

"I think that Anthony (Albanese) can win the next election. I think Labor is competitive, but as we've seen from the last election, it is always a two- horse race," he said.

Labor lost two consecutive elections under Mr Shorten's leadership.

He confirmed Labor has yet to make a decision on whether to retain the so-called stage three tax cuts should it win the next election.

"Caucus and the cabinet haven't made a final decision. We will make our decision before the election," he said.

"To be fair to Labor, we have been focused on COVID, where I think our priorities should be."

The legislated cuts due to begin in 2024 lower the 32.5 per cent and 37 per cent marginal tax rates to 30 per cent and flatten the tax structure for people earning between $45,000 and $200,000.

They were bundled together with other tax changes that passed parliament in 2019.

Asked if Mr Albanese is being bold enough in the policies he has announced, Mr Shorten said he thought Labor was doing what was needed to be an alternative government.

"I accept at the last election that we put out all our policies ... but they were subject to some debate and I accept that some of them didn't find support in parts of Australia," he said.

"I think Labor is doing the right thing. We are not a small target, but not necessarily putting every proposition out months and months ahead of an election."

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