MEDIA RELEASE: Mid-Year Budget update a mixed-bag for taxpayers

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA), a non-partisan grassroots advocacy body representing the interests of Australian taxpayers, today commends the government’s mid-year budget update for taking steps to reduce our ballooning budget deficit and national debt, but notes that much more needs to be done to ensure future Australians are not saddled with whopping, unconscionable debt. 

“While government forecasts have trimmed $10 billion off federal deficits over the next four years, gross national debt remains staggering at $583 billion – over $60,000 per household.”, said Satyajeet Marar, Director of Policy at the ATA. “The government has also failed to provide meaningful tax relief after delivering a 2017-18 budget that aimed to reach surplus through multiple tax hikes, reliance on strong albeit now revised economic growth forecasts and tax bracket creep that unfairly pushes Aussie workers into higher tax brackets through inflation rather than real wage growth.

“The commonwealth government must ensure that public funds are not replenished by taking more out of our pockets. Regularly indexing tax brackets based on inflation will ensure a tax system that is fairer to working families. For example, the Commonwealth Budget Office’s projects that a worker earning $46,000 p.a. will pay a whopping 21.5% more on their tax bill over the next 5 years. Bracket creep hurts everyone, especially low and middle income earners.

“Although we welcome cuts to middle-class welfare, such as tightening access to family tax benefits, government can also do much more to rein in needless spending. Over $11.6 million has been spent on legal bills of representatives captured by the citizenship crisis. It is unconscionable for taxpayers to foot the bill when their elected representatives fail to conduct basic diligence prior to standing for office.

“The ATA also calls on the government to implement tax cuts which will provide relief to millions of workers across the nation who continue to do the heavy lifting in providing for government spending programs. The American economy is already reaping benefits from the expected passage of landmark tax cuts which have strengthened the US dollar and will allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money. Household consumption, accounting for 58% of our gross domestic product, rose by a paltry 0.1%. Long overdue income tax cuts will help solve this problem.

“The government’s planned company tax cut, due to be phased in over the next 10 years, can also be brought forward to ensure that Aussie businesses receive a much-needed boost at a time when American businesses will soon benefit from a similar tax cut. Company tax cuts are a proven means for attracting international business to countries that adopt them - providing improvements in jobs, investment and economic growth.” 

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