7 August 2021

ACOSS’s Cassandra Goldie: “We now have both major parties supporting the slashing of income tax, which overwhelmingly will benefit higher-income earners and especially men. We are in the extraordinary position of the Coalition promising a policy they never really believed they would be in government to deliver — and the Labor Party deciding to support it, too. The dog has caught the car, twice. The price we will all pay for these tax cuts is staggering. … The OECD ranks Australia sixth-lowest in our spending on social benefits and the ninth-lowest in our overall tax base, collecting less tax revenue than most of the 37 other OECD nations. This lack of investment in our social benefits is the key reason we have a persistently high proportion of our community living in poverty, including more than 40 per cent of children in single-parent families, and more than three million people overall. The Intergenerational Report makes it clear: if we do not stop cutting taxes and do not start talking about raising revenue fairly, we will continue to have older people neglected, people with disability waiting for support, parents unable to get childcare, children going hungry, and millions going without the basics, sleeping in cars or living with the lights turned off. We are also hampering our ability to invest in the jobs-rich industries of the future, including new technologies and renewable energies. As the wealthiest country in the world, we need to collect more in the interest of doing better. We have shown what we are capable of doing in a crisis. We now need to show what we are capable of doing for the longer haul.”