Budget 2012: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

As the dust settles following the release of the 2012 Federal Budget last night, here’s a short summary of what it means for taxpayers:

The Good

A small reduction in our bloated bureaucracy: Australia has well over 150,000 federal bureaucrats, paid more than their counterparts almost anywhere in the world. The cuts made are tiny, but still bring some relief to taxpayers

Loss carry-back for businesses: businesses will be able to claim losses of up to $1million against tax they have paid in the previous two years. Unfortunately, this applies only to companies, and 80% of small businesses will be ineligible.

A smaller-than-predicted increase in foreign aid: The foreign aid budget will still increase from $4.8 billion this financial year to $5.1 billion for the next year in absolute terms. Still too much – as taxpayer funded foreign aid is nothing more than a scam  - but still better than the doubling predicted!

The Bad

No attempt to reform our broken welfare system: 35% of taxes go on welfare, with not even a token effort made to roll back the runaway spending. In fact, welfare spending is set to increase by $4.8 billion!

An effective abolition of the duty-free allowance on tobacco won’t bring the government the projected revenue, but smugglers and counterfeiters must be celebrating as yet another ill-thought out policy backfire

$610 million in extra taxes on airline passengers, further hurting our tourism industry

More wasteful overspending: For all the talk about a tough budget, the government continues its binge-overspending. This budget contains a staggering total of 284 separate increases in spending and spending in total has gone up by over $200 million.  Here’s some of it you might have missed:

  • Islamic Museum - $1.5 million

  • Slim Dusty Statue - $30,000

  • Parliament House Walk Feasibility study - $100,000

  • Weather Advertising on Bureau of Meteorology Website - $300,000. (That’s right, advertising is expected to cost the taxpayer money)

  • Carbon Tax Propaganda - $36.1 million

  • $63 million to establish Free To Air Indigenous television service

  • $215 million in subsidies to General Motors – working out at almost $35,000 per job!

And, just to rub salt into the wound - we also get a Bacon tax!

The Ugly

Biggest increase in tax receipts in 30 years – this government just can’t stop taking away taxpayers’ money. The budget contains a total of six separate tax hikes – making a total of 26 new or raised taxes by the Federal government. Economists on all sides agree – you don’t raise taxes during a global economic downturn. Yet this is exactly what the Federal government is doing.

A mining "supertax": Because the government that brought you pink batts and school halls has decided that punishing the most successful sector of the economy somehow makes economic sense.

And despite these tax hikes, we’re still raising our debt ceiling to $300 billion!!!

Refusal to cut corporate tax: Australia’s corporate tax is one of the highest in the world, and and significantly above the OECD average. As our competitors are slashing their corporate tax rates, our government continues to drive jobs and business offshore

And of course: we’re still stuck with the world’s highest unnecessary and destructive carbon tax.

So overall: not a good budget for taxpayers in the slightest.

We hope that many of these measures will be blocked in Parliament, and that the Coalition & “Independents” will have the courage to stand up to many of the special interest groups… but… we’re not holding our breath.


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