Executive Director of Catholic Social Services Australia, Ms Monique Earsman, has called on the Federal Government to increase jobseeker and other payments before stage three tax cuts, which will cost less than the proposed $243 billion, scheduled to take effect from July 2024.
Ms Earsman made the call following the release of Anglicare Australia’s research paper, A Clear Choice: Ending poverty for the cost of tax cuts, which finds that the Government could raise JobSeeker and other payments over the poverty line, and tackle the shortage of social homes, for less than the cost of the tax cuts.
“The tax cuts, particularly those to high-end income earnings, could be better spent on protecting and providing for the most disadvantaged and disenfranchised in our communities,” Ms Earsman said.
“Despite Australia’s good fortune and wealth, we still see hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens living below the poverty line on subsistence incomes.
“And despite having made election-winning commitments to deliver the stage three tax cuts the Treasurer and Prime Minister can look to this month’s budget, make the right decisions and deliver generational benefits to those most in need.”
Anglicare Australia’s research paper shows that for the full cost of the tax cuts:
- The JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, and Carer Payment could be raised to $88 per day
- Raising these payments would pull almost 2.3 million Australians out of poverty, including 840,000 children
- The Government could also build 36,000 social homes each year
- This program would end the shortfall and provide affordable homes to hundreds of thousands of people
- These measures would cost $208 billion over ten years, less than the $243 billion cost of the tax cuts.
The cuts will see the same 30% tax rate for all Australians earning between $45,000 and $200,000 hugely benefiting the nation’s most wealthy income earners.
For people earning over $200,000 a year, the stage 3 tax cuts will save $9,075 a year compared to someone earning around $45,000 a year (a few thousand dollars above the current minimum wage), who will receive no tax savings from the cuts.
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