Will a Flat Tax Increase Revenue?

By on 18 December 2014

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance has consistently called for a fairer and flatter tax system.

Flat taxes, which have rejuvenated economies in Eastern Europe, have generally been shunned in the West, despite their impressive results.

Last week, however, new research by the National Bureau of Economic Research in the United States, has come out demonstrating that in the United States at least, a flatter tax system with a lower rate would actually increase revenue.

The abstract:

“How much additional tax revenue can the government generate by increasing labor income taxes? In this paper we provide a quantitative answer to this question, and study the importance of the progressivity of the tax schedule for the ability of the government to generate tax revenues. We develop a rich overlapping generations model featuring an explicit family structure, extensive and intensive margins of labor supply, endogenous accumulation of labor market experience as well as standard intertemporal consumption-savings choices in the presence of uninsurable idiosyncratic labor productivity risk. We calibrate the model to US macro, micro and tax data and characterize the labor income tax Laffer curve under the current choice of the progressivity of the labor income tax code as well as when varying progressivity. We find that more progressive labor income taxes significantly reduce tax revenues. For the US, converting to a flat tax code raises the peak of the Laffer curve by 6%, whereas converting to a tax system with progressivity similar to Denmark would lower the peak by 7%. We also show that, relative to a representative agent economy tax revenues are less sensitive to the progressivity of the tax code in our economy. This finding is due to the fact that labor supply of two earner households is less elastic (along the intensive margin) and the endogenous accumulation of labor market experience makes labor supply of females less elastic (around the extensive margin) to changes in tax progressivity.”
You can purchase the full paper here.
Earlier this year, the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance released economic modelling showing how the move to increase top marginal tax rates in Australia would be ” unlikely to raise any revenue, and may actually decrease government revenue

FACTCHECK: Has the Federal Government Cut Spending?

By on 17 December 2014

Almost every day we hear shrieks in the media about how the Federal Government is drastically slashing spending.

Even the Federal Government uses the rhetoric of  cutting spending and “budget repair”.

But is this actually true?

Is the government cutting spending?

Make no mistake – our public spending levels are out of control, and things are only going to get worse as debt piles up, and our aging population puts increased costs on health and welfare.

Our economy is already being held back by big government. So spending cuts are desperately needed.

So is the Federal Government actually making them?

Because unlike politicians, the numbers don’t lie: (more…)

Unbelievable: Activist Receives $3m In Taxpayer Funding To Assess Policy She Promoted

By on 5 December 2014

Just when you thought the professional nanny state industry couldn’t become any more farcical, it has been revealed that Melanie Wakefield, one of the key architects of Australia failed plain packaging regime, has been receiving more than $3 million of taxpayer dollars to assess… her very own plain packaging legislation.

That’s right, Professor Wakefield, who was part of the Labor Government’s Tobacco Expert Committee which recommended plain packaging, and who then advised the Government on its implementation, has now been charged with assessing its effectiveness. With $3 million in taxpayer dollars.

I think Chris Argent from Philip Morris put it best: “This is akin to a student setting the end of year exam questions, taking the test and then marking their own

Obviously, I am not asserting any dishonesty by Melanie Wakefield, however, this is patently ridiculous. Four independent reports have already come out detailing the damaging impact of plain packaging, and its utter failure to achieve any of its stated aims,  and any sort of government report should be independent. This is a rather fundamental principle of sound public policy – you don’t investigate yourself!

To give $3 million in taxpayer funds to an activist to assess her own activism is ludicrous beyond words, and the government should urgently look into this matter.



Announcing Our New State Directors!

By on 4 December 2014

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is excited to announce our newest initiative: the appointment of State Directors to help co-ordinate ATA campaigns in states around Australia!

Rod-Schneider-180x300Queensland State Director: Roderick Schneider

Roderick Schneider is the Membership Director of the Australian Institute for Progress.

He is a Financial Adviser and is on the Queensland committee of the Association of Financial Advisers. Roderick is a regular guest on Triple J’s current affairs programme Hack, and was a participant in the award-winning SBS documentary “Go Back To Where You Came From.” Roderick holds a Masters degree in Business and a Bachelors degree in Commerce from the University of Southern Queensland, and was a former President of the YLNP.


ACT Director: Dr Ben O’Neill

Dr O’Neil is a lecturer in statistics and mathematics at the University of New South Wales (ADFA) in Canberra. He holds a PhD in statistics, two Masters degrees (economics & law) and two undergraduate degrees (actuarial studies & law). His scholarly writing has been published in The Mathematical Scientist, International Statistical Review, Journal of Approximate Reasoning, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Policy Journal, and The Independent Review. he is also a Templeton Fellow of the Independent Institute, a presenter at the “Liberty and Society” seminars hosted by The Centre for Independent Studies, speaker at the Australian Mises Seminars, and a regular contributor to the Ludwig von Mises Institute.


10696208_10152898067581096_7990882451921254974_nVictorian State Director: Marguerite Iliescu

Marguerite Iliescu is the National Coordinator for Liberty on the Rocks Australia and 2014 Australian Libertarian Society Libertarian Activist of the Year. She has experience in event coordination and administration in both the private and public sectors and is passionate about campaigning for civil liberties and drug policy reform.


1609697_10152650821929989_322121146_n (1)Victorian Deputy Director: Zeev Vinokurov

Vladimir Zeev Vinokurov is a practising solicitor. A committed libertarian, he came to his views partly due to his Russian background and keen awareness of its Soviet past. In his spare time he is an avid reader of history, politics and fiction, and helps organise Liberty on the Rocks, a monthly libertarian drinks night, in Melbourne. He has also written for Catallaxy Files and Menzies House.

unnamed-1New South Wales State Director: Alex Butterworth

Alex is an Intellectual Property Lawyer with NewSouth Innovations, having previously worked for global law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

Alex has previously worked with members of state and federal parliament, state and federal shadow ministers and as an intern with the former Chairman of the United States Congress House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. As a young person in politics, Alex led several organisations, including the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation and the WA branch of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.



10822622_10152531371642683_688174069_nWestern Australia State Director: Lee Herridge
Lee worked for ten years in retail and has spent the last three years working as a labourer for a local small business. He was a candidate in the 2010 Federal election for the seat of Forrest, and a a candidate in the 2012 Busselton City Council elections. He is passionate about housing policy and the minimum wage.

320133_10150341551984177_1574350674_nWest Australian Deputy State Director: Kathleen Linger

MEDIA RELEASE: Victorian Election – Both Major Parties Fail Taxpayers

By on 28 November 2014

Victorian Election: Both Major Parties Fail Taxpayers

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, Australia’s leading taxpayer-advocacy body, has condemned the tax-and-spend big-government policies of both major parties in tomorrow’s Victorian election.

“Both major parties have failed Victoria” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.

“The Victorian Liberal Government, in a grubby last minute attempt to win votes, is promising to waste taxpayer dollars on every special interest group they can find. So desperate are they to throw money at anything and everything, they have even promised hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to green groups that don’t even exist! From pledging $100 to parents to unprecedented corporate welfare, this election, the Victorian Liberal Government has destroyed any shred of fiscal credibility they may have had – and this isn’t even mentioning their extreme nanny state efforts to reduce choice and micromanage peoples’ lives.

“The Victorian Labor Party is even worse. By calling for a return to the dark days of anti-growth labour market regulations, opposing development, and similarly promising money Victoria simply doesn’t have, they have also demonstrated their utter contempt for the Victorian public.

“No matter who wins tomorrow’s election, the Victorian taxpayer will be the loser.

“While the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance does not endorse any candidate or party, we would strongly urge all Victorians who support good government to seriously consider voting for a minor party. In particular, we praise the economic policies of both the Liberal Democrats and Family First, and commend them for having the courage to stand up for the Victorian taxpayer, and not bow down to special interest group politics” concluded Mr Andrews

Media Contact: Tim Andrews, Executive Director, Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. Mobile: 0434 064 934
Email: tandrews@taxpayers.org.au

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