Discusses how the July 2009 tax cuts are highly skewed towards the rich. High-income earners get $41 per week and low-income earners get nothing at all.
Government and Accountability
Australia is a wealthy country. Although the current slowdown in the rate of economic growth has had a substantial impact on the government's finances, the fact is that much of the 'boom' preceding this downturn was squandered through round after round of tax cuts. This occurred to such an extent that, despite the fact that GDP has almost doubled in the past 20 years, we still hear our governments say that we lack the resources to invest in indigenous health, to educate our young, to care for our elderly or to protect ourselves from climate change. Tackling these problems does not require complex policy solutions; it simply requires the political will to do so.
The benefits of the mining boom: where did they go?
Renewable energy: the more the merrier, but how would we know?
Mutual obligation by any other name.
The 2009 Budget in clichÃ©s.
The ghost of Keating past.
How green is my Budget?
The good, the bad and the ugly.
While it may not have been the government's intention, it looks like the most potent symbol associated with the CPRS might be the Senate uniting to vote it down. The likely delay in implementing an effective scheme is a source of much regret for people who have called for urgent action for many years. But urgent symbolism should not be confused with urgent action.
Dr Bill de Maria discusses the new whistleblowing proposals; David Ingles laments the exclusion of people on NewStart from either of the stimulus packages and explains the great superannuation tax concession rort; Reconciliation Australia looks at reconciliation a year after the Rudd apology; Tully Fletcher examines the current state of legal aid; Richard Denniss enumerates the flaws in the Rudd Government's CPRS.
Tax cuts for the rich damage the Australian economy and disadvantage the average Australian.
Right up until the end of the resources boom and the onset of the global financial and economic crisis, the government was flush with money, a result of the virtually continual 'surprises' as economic growth, and especially government revenue, came in way over budget forecasts in each of the years from 2003-04 to 2007-08. By the time of the first Swan Budget in 2008, the cumulative impact of the tax surprises in the five budgets during these years was running at $83.4 billion per annum.
The underestimated revenue in the years from 2003-04 to 2008-09 is now running at $83.4 billion. Around half of that has been returned as tax cuts which disproportionately help people earning double or more than average weekly earnings (AWE).
The research reveals that as a result of the past and proposed income tax cuts a low-income earner will be just $26.67 per week better off, while someone earning twice average weekly earnings will be $209.30 a week better off. At five times AWE, the amount is $367.58 per week, and at 10 times AWE the tax cut is worth $486.23 per week.
The goal of sustainability has been a dangerous and destructive distraction for both citizens and policy makers concerned with the development of a society that protects our natural environment and promotes the wellbeing of our citizens. This paper argues that the goal of sustainability needs to be abandoned in all but its broadest metaphorical sense. That is, while the concept of leaving the same environmental and social assets for the next generation that we inherited ourselves is an essential element of a just society that, it is time that the rhetorical and policy framework that has built up around the term sustainability was cast aside.