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Advocates call for an end to tax cuts

  • December 09 2021
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Advocates call for an end to tax cuts

By Fergus Halliday
December 09 2021

Social services sector advocates have warned that further tax cuts may make solving Australia’s biggest challenges much harder. 

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Advocates call for an end to tax cuts

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  • December 09 2021
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Social services sector advocates have warned that further tax cuts may make solving Australia’s biggest challenges much harder. 

tax cuts

The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and its member organisations have called on both of Australia’s major parties to rethink the long-term consequences of recent tax cuts.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said that both recent challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Summer bushfires and looming ones like climate change and Australia’s aging population called for a government armed with the revenue needed to act and produce solutions to big problems.

“We call on our political leaders to guarantee that if they win government, they will raise the resources needed to meet these challenges and properly fund essential services and income supports rather than cutting them back,” she said.

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Pointing to the disparity between Australia’s status as one of the wealthiest countries in the world when measured by median household wealth and the fact that it has one of the lowest levels of social expenditure in the OECD, Dr Goldie slammed the commitments of both the Liberal and Labor parties to “unaffordable” income tax cuts.

“Responsible government is not small or passive government. We cannot afford a contest over who can offer bigger tax cuts,” she said.

According to the 2021 budget papers, federal government expenditure per person will fall by an average of 0.7 per cent each year from 2022 as new tax cuts kick in.

In a statement, ACOSS also advocated for the rescinding of new tax cuts for those on higher incomes, the shielding of those on the lowest from the effects of spending cuts and a fully-fledged review of the tax system itself.

The organisation argued that this overhaul would help strengthen revenues, improve fairness within the system and eliminate socially harmful tax concessions like fossil fuel subsidies.

Dr Goldie cited the effectiveness of costly-but-effective policy measures like the COVID supplement and argued that more such measures might be needed in the future.

“Poverty was halved when the COVID supplement was available, over 700,000 jobs were saved, child care was affordable and people sleeping on the streets were housed,” she said.

“We must now confront persistent poverty and inequality, an ageing population, the spread of mental illness and domestic violence, and the catastrophic threat of climate change. The next government cannot do these things with the resources available to it.”

Advocates call for an end to tax cuts
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About the author

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Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

About the author

author image
Fergus Halliday

Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

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