Budget must tackle tax fairness and poverty

Ahead of tomorrow’s budget, Anglicare Australia has called on the Federal Government to abandon the Morrison Government’s tax cuts for high income earners and take action on poverty.

The calls follow the recent release of A Costly Choice, a report showing that Australia already loses billions of dollars each year on tax breaks and concessions that benefit people on the highest incomes.

“Last week, the Government said it can’t afford to raise the rate of Centrelink payments for everyone. Yet it is pushing ahead with $250 billion in tax cuts,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“When the tax cuts were passed, we were told they would help average Australians.

“Instead the tax cuts will go to people on the very highest incomes. Our research shows that the top 20 percent of income earners will take up 80 percent of the cost. The bottom 20 percent will get nothing.

“At the same time, people on the very lowest incomes – those on Centrelink payments – will be left in poverty as living costs and rents continue to soar.

“Instead of helping people doing it tough in the midst of this historic cost-of-living crisis, the tax cuts will make Australia more unequal and more unfair.

“This choice could not be clearer. If the Government can afford to push ahead with tax cuts that are unfair and unpopular – polling shows that even the biggest beneficiaries do not want them – then it has no excuse to leave behind people in poverty.”

Kasy Chambers is available for comment ahead of the Federal Budget and for reactions on budget night.

Anglicare Australia’s research shows that:

  • It would cost $17.7 billion in 2024-25 to go ahead with the Morrison Government’s tax cuts
  • $14.1 billion of that cost (80%) will go to the wealthiest 20%. None will go to the bottom 20%.
  • The Government could raise the rate of all working age payments to the poverty line for $198 billion over ten years, lifting almost 2.3 million Australians out of poverty, including 840,000 children
  • This is considerably less than the cost of the tax cuts.