The Australia Institute has bought a full page advert, and started a petition, in support of Labor’s policy to stop most refunds of excess franking credits.
The ad ran over the weekend in The Saturday Paper:
The Australia Institute calculates that the money raised from stopping refunds of franking credits could pay for (with with $220 million left over):
- 50 new primary schools, 50 new secondary schools and 3500 teachers,
- 3 new regional hospitals, 2500 nurses and 1500 doctors,
- 200 fire & rescue vehicles and 800 police officers
“The complexity of the Australian tax system hides many loopholes, one of the most unfair is the fact that some of Australia’s wealthiest citizens pay negative tax. The tax office actually pays money to people who have paid no tax themselves, and these people are some of the wealthiest in the country,” says the Australia Institute.
“It’s time this perverse tax loophole was closed.”
“Only by closing unfair tax loopholes can Australia implement progressive reforms like strengthening the social safety net, building social housing, investing in schools and universities, addressing climate change and improving health care.”
Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute, said there should be more scrutiny of the money spent on tax concessions for wealthy shareholders.
“Our research shows Australia is the only country in the world to give such tax bonuses to people who do not pay tax and it is the community who is paying the price in foregone funds for services and infrastructure investment,” he said.
“Australia is a low taxing country, we need to talk more about raising revenue.”
“After decades of spending cuts, efficiency dividends, and budget emergencies it is time to confront the fact that many of Australia’s problems, both real and imagined, flow directly from the fact that we have chosen to be one of the lowest taxing countries in the developed world.”
Australia Institute starts petition in favour of Labor’s policy
The Australia Institute is also running a petition in favour of Labor’s policy. Several petitions are already being run against Labor’s policy, including by the Liberal party, Advance Australia, and Wilson Asset Management.
We, the undersigned–
Call upon the Australian Parliament to guarantee that the tax system treats all Australians fairly and raises the revenue our community needs to fund vital services. Low income workers should not pay more tax than millionaires.
We call upon the Australian Parliament to abolish the practice of providing cash refunds for unused franking credits to people who pay zero tax, introduced by the Howard Government in 2000.
The policy mainly benefits the most wealthy of Australians and no other country does this. Currently, the Federal Government spends more on refunding franking credits than it does on funding public schools.
It’s time to end this tax bonus for those who pay no tax.
Like many of the other petitions this one asks for range of personal information – including first and last name, email address, phone number and street address.
At time of writing the petition had over 4,300 signatures.