Prominent Australians Urge PM Not to Cut Taxes
13 April 2016 at 8:45 am
Community leaders and top economists have signed an open letter calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull not to cut taxes in the upcoming Budget – especially not on company profits.
The letter, published as a full-page newspaper advertisement, is signed by former Reserve Bank Governor Bernie Fraser. Other signatories include ACTU National President Ged Kearney, Former WA Premier Carmen Lawrence, Uniting Church Australia President Stuart McMillan and Nobel prize winner Peter Doherty along with a collection of economists and other community leaders who are calling for the government to prioritise services, not tax cuts.
The letter reads: “Cutting programs which support needy Australians to give more tax benefits to companies is not fair. Collecting more tax, more equitably, will make Australia a better place to live and work.”
The executive director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said that now was not the time to cut taxes.
“It would be fiscally irresponsible to lower the company tax rate in the current budget environment,” he said.
“Proponents of a cut to the company tax rate continue to promote claims of long-term, trickle-down benefits without identifying the immediate impact to revenue and in-turn essential services.
“In fact, a five-point cut in the company tax rate would deliver a projected $27 billion windfall over 10 years for the four major banks alone. This simply makes no economic sense and would put Australia’s revenue base at risk.
“Australia is a low taxing country, sixth lowest by OECD standards. We also have a clear revenue problem, which should be this priority for this budget,” Oquist said.
In February major Not for Profits and peak bodies called on the federal government to deliver secure housing, a fair health care system and income adequacy as a priority in this year’s budget.
Key policy areas were outlined in the pre-budget submissions of the St Vincent de Paul Society, the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association and the peak body for housing, National Shelter.
The NFPs said the major priority areas for the 2016 Federal Budget should include secure housing, strengthening universal health care through a financed commitment to a holistic “social determinants of health” approach, rather than cuts to Medicare and other services, and better targeting of existing health infrastructure, along with income adequacy with a focus on income support, job-creation and education for everyone.
Read the full open letter to the PM here