ACOSS today is warning Australian Senators that if they pass the government’s proposed six year $140 billion dollar income tax package while the Budget remains weak, the Senators will be sacrificing funding for essential universal services every person in Australia relies upon, including health, education and social security.
Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS says:
“The tax cut package is gambling the future of our medical services, aged care services, disability services, and social security payments most of us rely upon at some stage in our lives.
“Essential services will lose funding because tax cuts have to be paid for. When that happens, every person in Australia loses. We will all have to pay for services that in Australia, have been universally available to us all.
“If the tax cuts are passed, it will be a low point in Australian politics, where our politicians will have demonstrated a lack of care, responsibility and planning for the future.
“The biggest winners in the tax cut package are high-income earners. Middle income earners get little beyond the first stage. Low income earners don’t figure at all.
“The package is a short term gain only, with high income earners winning in the long term.
“This income tax package must not go through.
“We applaud the decision of Labor, the Greens and Senator Storrer to reject the second and third rounds, and Labor’s decision to seek their repeal if passed. But that requires a Parliament that considers the future, not short term gains for a few.
“If the tax cuts are passed now, it doesn’t inspire confidence.
“Promising huge tax cuts six years in advance is foolhardy. Are we fortune tellers? No, and none us know what will happen to the economy and the budget that far ahead.
“We got into trouble last time a full income tax package was passed in advance. The GFC meant our Budget was in the red for a very long time and our essential services suffered as a result.
“If the full tax package is passed today, it will carve out a gulf between the Haves and Have-Not’s in Australia, between the minority of people who benefit and the majority who lose benefits and essential services.”