• Charmaine Rodrigues

Template Letter #1 - Reject Stage 3 tax cuts for high earners

Updated: Jul 11, 2019


I launched OAKS in June 2019, following my disappointment at the re-election of the Morrison Government. That a Government which has been so deliberately unkind - to people on Newstart, to single mums on welfare, to people working shift on weekends who relief on penalty rates to live on, to refugees, to the environment which sustains us - got re-elected by a large number of Australians hurt my heart.

I know Aussies are kinder than our Government gives us credit for. However, it has been of little surprise to me that the Morrison Government has decided to use its win to continue to pursue policies of division and, dare i say it, class warfare, by trying to ram through an unnecessary set of tax cuts for high earners. An Australia Institute analysis found that "at least $77 billion of the lost revenue from the Morrison Government’s top-end tax cut plan will benefit those earning more than $180,000, and $64 billion of that [tax cut] will go to those who earn over $200,000."

I earn around $150,000 a year and I know for sure that I don't need a tax cut, particularly when I am aware that so very many people are doing it much tougher than I am.

Statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 85% of all Australians earn less than $79,000 per year.

In fact, a report in earning inequality from 2018 shows that the average household pre-tax income in Australia currently sits at just under $110,000 per annum (ie. the sum of two working peoples’ salaries). The top 20% of households currently earn, on average, 11 times more than the bottom 20% of households.

Parliament is likely to vote on the tax bill proposed by the Morrison Government as early as next week, 3 or 4 July. Problematically, the Centre Alliance and independent Senator Jaqcui Lambie are considering backing the cuts. They seem to think they are being tactical by using the tax bill to leverage a better energy policy out of the Government - this begs the question though, why not block tax reductions for high income earners AND lobby for better energy prices, simple because both are in the public interest?

Please write to Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick (senator.patrick@aph.gov.au), Senator Stirling Griff (senator.griff@aph.gov.au) and indepen

dent Senator Jacqui Lambie to (Senator.lambie@aph.gov.au) let them know that they shouldn't support wealth-fare" through tax cuts.

The ALP hasn't been much better. Liberal Lite, Jim Chalmers is doing his best to channel John Howard, with Chalmers suggested that $200,000 is not a lot of money while sharing his reflections on "aspirational voters"! Really?! Meanwhile, the rest of the Labor caucus is hedging its bets on the tax cuts, though Labor eventually decided to reject the current 3rd stage of cuts.

This shouldn't be so hard. The Australian economy is weakening, with some suggesting we may soon face a recession. What we need is to ensure that lower and middle-income earners get some tax relief, because experience shows that when you give tax cuts to middle income earners, they spend them and stimulate the economy. What we dont need to do at such a precarious time is to blow a hole in the budget just to appeal to the Liberal base. Its irresponsible, and down the track, it will hurt ordinary people as it will inevitable lead to reduced revenues and a narrative that uses that explanation to justify cuts to essential services.

The country deserves better. We cant keep making policies just to appeal to narrow political interests. As we look around, we surely must realise we need to grapple with rising homelessness, a housing crisis, wage stagnation and increase service costs. Lets focus on that - please!

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