Monday, March 25, 2013

We need more tax, we need an extra $10 billion - Doug Cameron

Listen to Cameron at the Adelaide ACOSS Conference, March 25 2013

9 minutes, play or CLICK THEN CLICK AGAIN to download mp3

Leading Labor senator Doug Cameron wants Australians to pay more tax after the May budget - an extra $10 billion more. He wants Labor to stop seeing it as a “badge of honour” to have a lower tax ratio than did the Coalition.

Addressing the Council of Social Service conference in Adelaide Senator Cameron said there was “almost universal acceptance” Australia should lift the Newstart unemployment allowance, introduce a national disability insurance scheme and provide world-class public education.

“But manifestly it seems there is almost universal timidity when it comes to the question of how we pay for them,” he told the conference.

“I have said before and I will say it again. I can not understand why it is a badge of honour for a Labor government to have a lower tax to gross domestic product ratio than the Howard government.”

“Tax receipts to GDP in this country are the fifth lowest in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. A mere 0.7 per cent increase in the ratio would be for us to realise our aspirations to be a good society.”

An increase of 0.7 percentage points would lift the tax to GDP ratio from 22.1 to 22.8 per cent, bringing in an extra $10 billion per year.

“With GDP approaching $1.5 trillion it is beyond me that we cannot see fit to devote less than one per cent to fulfilling a promise of a good society,” he said.

“Even if we did we would still be the fifth lowest taxing country in the OECD.”

Although a long-standing supporter of the superannuation system, Senator Cameron said the time had come for a reappraisal of the associated tax concessions that arguably acted as a device to allow high-wealth Australians to minimise tax...

“Many of these concessions are deeply entrenched. They cost around $32 billion a year and they are not sustainable,” he said.

“Treasury estimates they will cost $42 billion in 2015-16, more than the annual cost of the aged pension.”

“At that rate we may as well double the aged pension and do away with superannuation incentives.”

Acknowledging his remarks would get him “in trouble again,” he said his party should “change its position on increasing and indexing Newstart”.

The conference will consider a resolution Tuesday calling on the government to lift Newstart and other low paying allowances by $50 per week.

In today's Canberra Times

Related Posts

. Skewed. Why Labor is finally rounding on super tax breaks

. Our attitudes to tax are hardening. Only others should pay more

. If you are a pensioner you'll get $35.80, but if you're on Newstart...