Opinion: Taxes have Australia in a stranglehold

The City should wear the cost of their mistake, not residents
The City should wear the cost of their mistake, not residents

EVERYBODY in Australia understands that the country’s balance sheets are in the red.

It galls most when they hear talk of big tax cuts for multi-nationals, but if we don’t heed their wishes these big employers will pick up and go play in another country offering better concessional tax rates.

The end result being that our workforce will suffer major redundancies.

Not content with this blackmail, they further exacerbate the situation by creative accounting.

When the Abbott/Hockey government came to power, it loaded the table with tax proposals.

It seemed that too many of the items affected the Liberal voter support base, so they were brushed to one side.

The well-off seem to think that austerity measures are only meant for the poor. Nowhere does it distinguish between rich and poor.

Hopefully our current Treasurer is smart enough to realise that you can’t get blood out of a stone.

Many suggest that raising the GST and including food items is the way to go.

It is fine for people who are earning a comfortable income, but low-paid workers struggling on the bottom rung will be hardest hit.

To keep them above the poverty level they will need assistance by way of subsidies. Yes, it is easy to collect, but it is a regressive form of taxation.

We need to look for fairer ways to spread the load. We should change the rules on the Medicare levy, currently calculated on one’s net income. It should not be a deductible against one’s investments but paid on one’s gross wage.

For decades wage increases have been linked to the cost of living index. There is no cut off; the more you earn, the bigger the increase.

A loaf of bread is the same price for wealthy and poor. This payment should be calculated as a percentage of the basic wage and cut out after that.

The halcyon days of the Howard government are long gone.

There were retirees with a respectable pension returning to the workforce. They could salary sacrifice all their income, only paying 15 per cent working alongside staff paying the top rate of tax.

Salary sacrifice rules should only be allowed to cut in after a livable wage has been earned, regardless of self-funded pensions.

Currently most taxpayers receive 9.5 per cent super contributions on their salaries, yet many of our top public servants, bureaucrats, judges and politicians receive 15.4 per cent superannuation on top of their income.

Level the playing field and cap the super contribution at 9.5 per cent for everybody.

It is imperative that the low-paid workers can see that any austerity measures to be introduced are inclusive and apply to all income earners.

This being the case, the Senate will be more inclined to pass the necessary legislation to return to a balanced budget.

ROGER DAVENPORT,

Southern River.