ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said:
“ACOSS commends the Albanese Government for taking action to make the stage three tax package fairer.
“The previous package overwhelmingly benefited people on higher incomes.
“With people on low and modest incomes facing a serious cost of living crisis, we had repeatedly urged the Albanese Government to not proceed with giving the most dollars to people on the highest incomes.
“The changes announced today are a better deal for people earning low, modest and middle incomes, including people earning under $45,000.
“We are pleased the Albanese Government has listened to the community to make the package fairer.
“However, it is important to highlight that this revised package does not yet help people on the lowest incomes facing the most severe crisis: people whose incomes are below the tax threshold and pay no income tax.
“It also is yet to address our revenue challenge, which remains. Australia is already the 9th lowest taxed amongst 40 OECD countries.
“People receiving income support payments are worst affected by the cost-of-living crisis.
“Right now, we’re hearing about people sleeping in tents, regularly skipping meals and going without essential medication. Last week, I spoke to a woman who has saved money to buy camping equipment because she is facing imminent homelessness. She will see no benefit from tax cuts and faces losing her home.
“JobSeeker and related payments must be urgently raised and without further delay. Our unemployment payment is just $54 per day, or $19,000 per year. The government must not leave behind the people already in poverty.
“It is wrong for one of the world’s wealthiest nations to continue condemning people on low incomes to poverty.
“We urge the Prime Minister to address the missing piece. We must now help people most in need by raising the rate of JobSeeker and related payments to at least $78 a day.”
Background key facts:
- Australia raises less revenue from personal income tax (18% GDP) than the OECD average (21% GDP).
- The overall tax rate for an average full time worker is lower in Australia than in the US (23% of income compared to 25%).
- Australia is the 9th lowest taxing country among 40 OECD countries.