The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council says Australia’s taxation system “can, and should, be strengthened to improve equality”.
The society’s national president, Mark Gaetani, was commenting on last week’s release of the Commonwealth Government’s Intergenerational Report.
“We support the Government’s commitment to increasing productivity and prosperity through an inclusive approach that benefits all. However, we must take this opportunity to stress that Australia’s progressive taxation system can, and should, be strengthened to improve equality,” Mr Gaetani said.
“There are many groups out there with competing interests and priorities. Ours is to lift people out of poverty and increase affordable and secure housing options.”
Research shows corporate profits reached their highest ever share of national GDP in 2022. But over 122,000 Australians are homeless. Almost 60 per cent of JobSeeker recipients are living in poverty. And about half of those on working age payments are experiencing financial stress, compared to a national average of 14 per cent.
“This is not the time to lower company tax rates or increase the GST. The GST is a blunt instrument – a regressive tax that disadvantages those already doing it tough. And given the current cost of living and housing crises, the Stage 3 tax cuts must be dropped,” Mr Gaetani said.
Mr Gaetani said the society has “commissioned the Australian National University to model how to make the tax and welfare system fairer and reduce poverty”.
“We agree the Government must lift productivity, manage the energy transformation and fund ballooning health and aged care services. But we can transform lives and improve the wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of Australians right now by making some simple changes,” he said.
Associate Professor Ben Phillips, a member of the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee, is lead author of the report A Fairer Tax and Welfare System in Australia, to be launched on September 4.
I.G. Report flags trouble ahead for Australia’s disadvantaged (St Vincent de Paul Society)