The St Vincent de Paul Society has criticised the Turnbull Government’s Budget 2018 plan to flatten the tax system so that only 6 per cent of taxpayers face the top rate. Source: ABC News.
Treasurer Scott Morrison and will today introduce to parliament the centrepiece of his third budget, released yesterday, which is to scrap a middle tax bracket.
His plan would leave 94 per cent of taxpayers on the lowest or middle rate and only those earning more than $200,000 would pay the top tax rate. It will cost $140 billion over 10 years.
Mr Morrison said it was evidence the government is delivering on its promise to give a tax cut to lower and middle-income earners before big companies.
But St Vincent de Paul Society’s chief John Falzon argued that cutting income tax and company taxes erodes the progressive nature of the system and “punch a massive hole in government revenue”.
“If you’re locked out of a job, or locked into an insecure job, tonight’s budget doesn’t even bring home the two-minute noodles, Dr Falzon said.
“It does, however, bring home the caviar for the corporates.”
Other welfare groups have said the budget is a missed opportunity to invest in some of Australia’s most needy.
Among the budget measures ignored is the Newstart unemployment benefit, which economists, social groups and business groups had called to be lifted. It currently equates to around $40 per day.
Foreign aid has taken another hit, as the Coalition decided to extend its freeze on the aid budget’s growth.
“This is incredibly disappointing when we think that overseas aid is less than 1 per cent of the overall government spend,” Oxfam’s Helen Szoke said.
“It’s just been treated like taking money out of a bank, without regard to our role and responsibilities across the world.”
Budget locks in future spending cuts and leaves people on low incomes worse off (St Vincent de Paul Society)