Recent polling confirms that 84% of Australians think the gap between rich and poor is widening and that 60% believe that more than 11% of Australians do not have an acceptable standard of living. Curbing high income earners access to Government payments like the Family Tax Benefit, could be a way for the Government to invest more in services and supports for low income and disadvantaged Australians.
Respondents to the Roy Morgan survey conducted for ACOSS were asked whether high income earners should receive Government payments including the Family Tax Benefit. 61% of the respondents said no, while only 31% supported the proposition. Women were more likely to want to stop payments to high income earners as well as unskilled workers, semi professionals and professionals. While a majority of those earning over $100,000 were still in favour of stopping payments to high income earners, those most in support of curbing access to Government payments to high income earners were people earning below $30,000.
The challenge for the Government in the upcoming budget is how to meet the needs of low and middle income earners for affordable housing, basic healthcare and community services whilst still reaching its target for a budget surplus of 1.5% of GDP.
ACOSS Treasurer Alan Kirkland said:
“To ensure that we can invest in the services, training and supports that low income Australians need, we need to have greater targeting of payments such as the Family Tax Benefit.”
ACOSS Executive Director Andrew Johnson said:
“With 61% of the population agreeing that high income earners should not receive payments like the Family Tax Benefit the Government should make savings in these areas rather than cuts to payments and services for low income Australians.”